From Endurance to Dressage
It started with Izzy following me around while I cleaned his stall. As his confidence grew, he started grabbing the wheelbarrow with his teeth. When nothing horrible happened to him, he joined the cleaning team with gusto - see for yourself.
I've got a couple of blog posts rolling around in my head that I need to write, but I am having trouble. One has to do with my frustration with collection, or more accurately the lack thereof, and the other has to do with a "thing" that Izzy and I are dealing with. I am just not quite ready to put pen to paper regarding either situation.
The thing is, I really try to live my life focused on the positive side of things. It's not that I stick my head in the sand or that I ignore the crap that happens around me; I just don't like to give said crap any more attention than absolutely necessary.
Some people like to take those crappy problems and polish and buff them until they shine. Ask those people how life is going and they'll be ready to tell you all about how horrible this and that is. They always remind me of Gollum worrying at his "precious."
Instead of being impressed by crap, I refuse to let it take over. It's a tough struggle though. Sometimes, those crappy situations take on a life of their own and seem to simply clamor for my attention. HEY, YOU! NICE LADY ... YEAH, YOU!!! YOU LOOK LIKE YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH SOME REAL SH*T. COME ON OVER HERE FOR A MINUTE.
I am not kidding. Crap is like that. As loud as it shouts though, I turn a deaf ear and look for the positive outcome. It's hard to do, but I simply refuse to entertain Crap - let him find a new place to hang his hat.
All of this means that I don't want to bore you with tales of my problems and frustrations. I like to wait until I have a working solution before I share ... Izzy's leg was a good example. I shared the progress, but never until I had my vet's diagnosis or prognosis.
Speaking of vets ... we're trying out another treatment, Azium, for Izzy's aforementioned issue. I spoke to Dr. Tolley yesterday afternoon, and we decided that a four day run of the Azium would tell us what we needed to know. I agreed to stop by on my lunch hour the next day to pick it up.
A few minutes after arriving at the barn, who do I see pull in next door but Dr. Tolley himself. The neighbor's old man gelding was having some trouble and needed to be seen. As soon as I walked up to the truck, Dr. Tolley whipped out my Azium packets and asked me to take care of the financial end the next day.
That's the real point of this post. When you develop a good relationship with your vet, he'll think of you when he's heading out for a field call and then trust you to remember to call back to take care of the billing. That's the kind of stuff I like to polish and shine, the kind and generous acts of the people around me.
I am truly blessed.
I simply have no self-control. Although, now that I think about it, that's not entirely true. I wanted to buy more, and no breeches were added to the pile, so I suppose it could be said that I at least showed a modicum of restraint.
On Monday, this sales ad hit my email's inbox. Apparently, there's this thing called SmartPerks for shoppers who have a SmartPak on AutoShip. I haven't needed a SmartPak in quite some time, so I have been blissfully unaware of this extra 10% savings when a SmartPak item is ordered.
Now that Izzy is getting Quiessence every morning, I have become eligible for special perks. And guess what? Just days after receiving Izzy's convenient Quiessence wells, I got an offer for a double perk - 20% off SmartPak tack and apparel. I didn't make it past 5:15 a.m.
So I rounded out my collection of Piper T-shirts by getting the blue one, and then I ordered a second set of each color for non-barn wear. That makes eight t-shirts in two weeks. Lordy.
However ... they were super cheap, I needed some new summer riding shirts, and I needed some easy pack/easy wear shirts for our upcoming trip to Portugal. Oh, and I got another 5% off from my USEF membership.
How could I pass up a deal like that?
Forgive me if I get a little sappy here today. It's just that Speedy proved to me yet again why he is worth his weight in gold.
The last time I had a halter on him was a week ago. I think my barn-mate turned him out once or twice while I was sick, and the farrier came out yesterday and re-shod him, but other than that, Speedy has had to entertain himself for a week.
Even so, I tossed on a halter, clipped him to one of the cross ties (who needs two when your horse is so awe-inspiring), brushed off his back, and hopped on bareback. We spent the next thirty minutes wandering around the neighborhood looking for left-over winter grass and visiting with the neighbors.
Speedy is just such an incredible fellow. He is so good that when we got to the Tanner's house, they have a bunch of small kids, he just parked himself on the lawn as the littlest girl ran to put on her sandals. Dad had said she could pet Speedy as long as she had on some shoes. I am not sure her little pink daisy sandals would have stood up to one of Speedy's ironclad hooves, but I didn't point that out.
She just chattered about this and that as Speedy covered her little three-foot frame with kisses and nudges and nibbles as he nosed around for treats. She giggled and patted his face as he gave her the twice-over. How much more can you ask of a horse?
We left little miss twinkle toes and continued on around the neighborhood. I have not felt so relaxed in a long time. I need to remember that every ride doesn't always have to be about collection, connection, impulsion, or straightness. Sometimes, it's okay to just meander down the road on your Steady Eddy.
If you don't have a Steady Eddy, keep at it - he'll get there. Speedy was a giant pain in the ass for the first four or five years that I owned him. Now, he's worth way more than a blank check!
Way back in 2009, you could have bought him cheap. This photo is proof that he wasn't always such a rock star at being tied to the trailer. Here we are six years later. My once insecure pony now glows with confidence and takes everything in stride. He is a very special horse.
I ordered a third Piper t-shirt, the black one. Let me just say, these are my new favorite shirts. I already reviewed the Piper t-shirts a week or so ago, but that was before I actually gave them a solid wearing. To really test the shirt, I wore the same one to the barn for three days in a row. (Ew ... gross!)
Had it been summer in Bakersfield, I couldn't have done it as the shirt would have been totally disgusting, but it was in the mid-70s, and I wasn't doing too much sweating. By the end of the third wearing, the shirt was a little dirty, but it looked almost as fresh as the first day. It kept it's shape, and somehow resisted stains and dirt marks.
I wore the pink one to work and loved how silky it felt. These shirts hang really nicely, stay tucked in, keep their shape, and launder really well. For ten bucks and some change, I am considering buying a second set just to keep as non-barn shirts.
SmartPak, you hit a home-run with this product! Now, can you make it in all the Piper Breeches colors?
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
3/6-7 El Sueño (***)
4/17-18 El Sueño (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read