From Endurance to Dressage
I know I already "debuted" at Second Level, but that was at a CDS-rated show. This time, it's the real deal, a USDF show. Not to disparage the CDS show; my GMO is huge, and the two qualifying scores I earned count toward a lot of great programs (Regional show, Ruby Award, Rosettes, Championships). My scores didn't count for the Second Level Rider Performance Award or a Bronze Medal though; both things I would like to earn someday.
Earlier in the week, I dragged out my clippers to tidy up Speedy's bridle path and fetlocks. When I opened my braiding box, where I store my clippers, I realized it was really gross inside. Some hair gel had spilled, braiding bands were in little dusty piles, and they whole thing was filled with dirt and loose hair.
I dumped everything out and and gave the inside of the box a quick wipe. Then I proceeded to throw out anything that was empty, cracked, broken, or otherwise useless.
Then I repacked everything. I don't think I have ever cleaned this box out. I bought it six years ago; it was time.
Of course, after that was done, I looked up and saw my bandaging box. That too got a "going through."
In for a penny, in for a pound. By that time, I was in full on organize everything mode. Next up was my med kit.
And since I couldn't have stopped even had I wanted to, I tackled my bottles and jars of OTC stuff.
Then I had a crack at my shampoos and conditioners. For someone who doesn't do a lot of grooming, I have way too many types of mane and tail products. By the time that was all done, my side of the tack room started to feel pretty clean and organized. When I stepped back to admire my work, I was disappointed to see that it didn't look any better. It's all still just crammed in there.
After I was done, I realized that I was just blowing off nervous energy. Instead of feeling worried and anxious about the show, I was actually really excited. I feel better prepared than I did last month, and we're going to a venue that Speedy knows well.
My Saturday times are really good - not too early, and not too late. I wish they were closer together though. I hate to make Speedy stand saddled for all that time. Keeping him tacked up lets him know he's not done for the day though. He can get resentful if I take him back out when he thinks he's finished.
My Sunday times are great - first thing in the morning. Since I camp on the grounds, I'll be there anyway. And since I ride so early, I'll be able to hit the road sooner (it's a two and a half hour drive) which means I'll get home in time to unpack the trailer and make it home with part of the day still intact.
One last thought: the show drew more riders than anticipated which means there are two rings and two judges. I get to ride for both judges which means I get more opportunities to earn scores for Championships and the Second Level Rider Performance Award - scores need to be from four different judges. This show could get me halfway there.
No pressure or anything.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: