From Endurance to Dressage
I don't think I got one of these last year. The Table of Contents of the USDF Member Guide lists this as Volume 1 so I suspect it's a new USDF publication. If I did get a different version of this last year, I never bothered to look at it. I wish I had! This thing is 104 pages of everything you need to show.
Beginning with the Table of Contents, there are five sections to the guide. The sections dealing with USDF Awards and Championships are not very useful to me at this stage in my dressage career, but the rest is actually quite interesting.
The First Thanksgiving
Today is Thanksgiving Day, the day Americans have set aside to express their gratitude for the good received. For non-American readers, "in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November." - History.com.
I am thankful for so many things, and no doubt you've been making your own list this week. Here are some of the things for which I am grateful.
Wednesday is lesson night, again. I need to count how many time I've started a post with that sentence. The thing is that Wednesdays are now my favorite day of the week. I know that's odd. Who likes Wednesday? It's Hump day, it's mid-week, and there are still two to go. But knowing that I get a lesson after work on Wednesday rejuvenates me and gives me that little high that gets me through the last two days of the work week.
I am a teacher. That's what I get paid to do. And yet, I find that I enjoy the opportunity to be a student. My brain literally crackles during a lesson. And since I am usually the one giving directions, grading work, and checking on progress, I know exactly what it takes to be a good student. To get the most out of your lesson, follow some of these tips from a teacher.
Everyone of these ten tips are things that I encourage my students to do every day. My honor roll students do them without thought. Learning is only partly about the teacher. Learning really comes from the student in spite of the teacher. Good learners will learn no matter what. Good learners matched with good teachers can accomplish marvelous things.
What must be done? Well, it's fall (just barely here in sunny CA), and the 2011 calendar is drawing to a close. That means memberships for 2012 need to be renewed. This has become an interesting topic, to me at least, since I just discovered that there are way, way more than 50 GMOs out there.
I have come to realize that not all dressage riders show. That is a strange concept to me, but everyone gets to do dressage for their own personal reasons. My way won't necessarily be their way. I've already blogged about the fact that I am somewhat (okay, kind of a lot) motivated by extrinsic rewards, an 8 on a score sheet, or a blue ribbon out of a class of one. I know that I wouldn't work so hard to improve my riding if there wasn't a place to demonstrate what we've learned. I need the tests to confirm what we get as well as to determine what we don't yet get.
If you're going show, you have to pay. Hence the membership renewal discussion. I am happy to report that my 2012 memberships to the USEF, USDF, and CDS have all been paid for. It wasn't as much as it sounds like since the California Dressage Society takes care of the payment to the United States Dressage Federation. I paid $55 to the USEF and $70 to CDS. Back when I was still competing in the endurance world, my memberships were nearly the same price: The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) needed around $70 and Arabian Horse Association (AHA) needed another $50 - $60. The year that I maintained memberships in both disciplines was an expensive one. So for only $125, I am now ready for the 2012 show season.
Bring it on!
My mom found a new gizmo for me. Regular readers will know that I like gizmos ... a lot. Gizmos are just those handy tools that make barn life run more smoothly. Over on the side there, scroll down a bit to see posts by topic, and you'll find a whole category devoted just to gizmos.
I wrote about the new barn not having electricity. We have battery powered lanterns, tap lights, flash lights, and even solar flash lights, but it's still pretty dark once the sun sets. My mom read about my lack of lighting and decided that the solution was one of those headlamps. I was a bit skeptical. Really?!? Yes. A headlamp? Yes. How does it stay on your head? Very well, thank you. Won't it slide down over my eyes? Nope.
I tried it out on Thursday night and couldn't believe how totally cool, awesome, helpful, fabulous that thing is! The model my mom picked out for me has two brightness levels and a third setting that emits a blueish/purplish light that doesn't interrupt your night vision. The box said it was useful for night time fly fishing as the light makes the line glow(?). Not really applicable at the barn, but hey, you never know! The lamp itself also ratchets so that the light can be aimed more forward, up, or down.
The thing that makes the headlamp so cool is that it is hands free! I know I can be a bit slow at times, but this is ridiculous. How could I have not seen the benefits of this sooner? Hands free at the barn? Insert eye roll. Of course that's a brilliant concept. Let's see, I was able to mix feed without the armpit flashlight grip. I was even able to carry both feed buckets at the same time without the aforementioned armpit flashlight grip. I was finally able to wipe down my saddle, something I do religiously after every ride, without guessing where the dust had landed.
I don't know where my mom bought this headlamp so I can't provide the usual link and average price, but I am fairly certain they are widely available so I'll let you Google the thing yourself. And if the rest of you are using one of these, please feel free to let me know how much you like yours!
Click on the photos for captions and larger views.
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
2022 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
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