From Endurance to Dressage
Not only are horses expensive, but so is everything else. For such a short month, this one nearly broke the bank. For the past year, I have incurred the most bizarre and unexpected bills. Need an example? My car, for which I have now made 37 payments, just went back to the body shop for its FOURTH repair/repaint. And every instance has been unrelated.
First, I got hit in the rear quarter panel which bent the axel and did all sorts of body damage. Fortunately, the other driver was 100% at fault so their insurance company paid for all the repairs.
Then something splashed all-over my hood, eating through the paint. To repaint my hood was just slightly more than my deductible ($500), so I just paid for it without filing a claim.
Last fall, I was hit in the front quarter panel, and the other driver fled the scene. While I was declared not at fault, I still had to pay the $500 deductible.
And finally, last week, my garage door malfunctioned as I backed out, scraping the roof of my car and ripping off my antenna. As it was clearly my fault, I had to pay the $500 deductible again. The Juke is in the shop as we speak.
Even though we pay extra all year long AND claim zero exemptions, we still have a tax bill every year. April was tax month. The bill was paid, but we didn't like it. There have been more bills, of course, but what can I say? It's just life. The big bummer is that I haven't been able to pay nearly as much on Speedy's vet bill(s) as I would have liked.
With show season now staring me in the face, I'm pretty glad that I only have one goal for the year. Knowing that my show budget is getting smaller and smaller, I've been busting both Speedy's butt as well as my own to get as good as we can so that we earn the scores we need without needing to do a bunch of shows to get them.
I can't guarantee that we'll get the scores in just two shows (I need two scores from two different judges), but being "poor" is a huge motivator!
I am glad today is payday.
Congratulations to Kirrily. Hers was the name my husband drew for the Roeckl Melbourne Gloves and the $25 Riding Warehouse Gift Card. Thank you to everyone who commented. I only wish I could have sent everyone a pair of gloves, but Ellen Degeneres or Oprah Winfrey I am not.
I've been using the Melbournes every day for the past few weeks, and I have to say, these gloves are a great addition to Roeckl's already expansive line. The two things that I most enjoy are their weight - great for our summer heat, and that cuff. I never realized how often I have to pull back my gloves to see my watch.
Riding Izzy takes very quiet hands, so being able to glance down to check my watch without taking my hands off the reins has been a bonus I hadn't expected. Nice thinking, Roeckl!
Since I started this giveaway, I've had no less than two boxes delivered from the Riding Warehouse. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but if RW is not on your top 3 places to shop, you really and truly should give them a try. It's rare that they don't have what I need, and with their lightning fast shipping (I live two hours away) and readily available discount codes, I can't afford to shop anywhere else.
Speaking of which, I just placed another order while I was writing this. Love you/hate you, Riding Warehouse. Need something? Here's that 20% off code (it's good through June 1, 2019): RWEJ.
Seen all over facebook this week. Arabians do have that reputation, don't they? I thought it was hilarious and took no offense. While Speedy's not particularly spooky, he can put on a good show.
Enjoy your weekend!
They're like, "Hey, who that there with the shades?"
Like oh, the way you move to the bass
Whole room gets to spinnin'
From the second that you walk in it
And, baby, you look good all day, all night
You look good (so fresh, so fine)
You look good
Got everybody watching you
Like cameras in Hollywood
Baby, you look good
Aw, baby, you look good
Yeah, you're killing me, boy, in your black-faded jeans
Ain't gotta work hard when you're smilin' at me
Baby, you look good!
I wonder how many horses don't learn to do the flying change until they're 15? Speedy knows how to change his canter leads; I've seen him do it a million times during turn out. They're beautiful. Doing them when and where I ask is an entirely different conversation. As difficult as they are, Speedy is working his heart out to do them for me. Bless him.
Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, came out for a lesson on Good Friday. Frankly, I need all the help I can get, so if we get a little extra help from the Divine on a day meant to be holy, I'll take it.
My goal for the lesson was to check in on our new and improved shoulder in and to continue cleaning up our flying changes. Chemaine seemed pretty pleased with our trot work, both at the shoulder in and the medium.
When Chemaine was here last, she had me use the idea of a medium trot while doing a shoulder in. For the life of me, I just couldn't figure out what she wanted me to do. After watching video of the lesson, I did a palm to face and shook my head at my idiocy. She wanted me to use the energy reserved for the medium trot during a shoulder in. What's so confusing about that? Apparently a lot if you're me.
For a medium trot, Chemaine has taught me to use the corner to rev Speedy up and build energy in his hind end by applying the brakes (half halt) while at the same time pressing on the gas (adding leg). Once we come out of the corner, I straighten him up so that when he finally gets to use that coiled up energy, he can lift his front end just like a plane taking off.
So how does this work to improve the shoulder in? Chemaine had me set it up exactly the same. From A to K, or whichever corner you're in, build the energy by half halting while adding leg at the same time. From K to V start thinking about shoulder fore so that by V you can put your horse into a shoulder in.
Unlike the medium trot, the horse doesn't get to launch forward though. Instead, Chemaine had me slowly release the energy into the shoulder in by pulsing the rein. If you let all of the energy go at once, you'll lose the angle of the bend. Instead, let it out in short spurts.
Speedy has learned the aids for the medium trot so well that I can now use them to improve his collected trot even while not in the corner. He knows that a "revving up" half halt means that we're getting ready to GO, like in the second picture above. Transitions within the gait, right?!
And then we moved on to the flying change. Speedy has it, he's just still quite sassy about it. The main problem we have is the right rein and right shoulder.
The right to left flying change is much easier because Speedy naturally wants to lean on my right rein. The other way? Let the sparks fly!
Lest you think he's just beyond incorrigible, these are only blips in time. He really just wants to do it right, but he thinks he knows better than I do what's "right." Silly boy.
Right now, the process goes like this:
We have a flying change. What we don't have is an obedient and relaxed flying change. We're almost there though.
I've learned that with this horse, being patient and persistent will pay off.
He makes my heart sing.
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%: