From Endurance to Dressage
And here's the rest of yesterday's post ...
The other day on Facebook, Melissa Feather, Speedy G's breeder, commented that she would like to come and watch us at a show. I was horrified. We suck, we're lousy, we're showing I-NT-R-O-D-U-C-T-O-R-Y. There is no way I want Speedy's BREEDER to come and see what a TERRIBLE job I'm doing with her horse!
I am a very confident horse owner. I know with complete certainty that the health related decisions I make for my horses are spot on. Confident owner, yes. Confident endurance/trail rider, YES! Dressage rider, got nothin' for ya. Dressage has to be the most humbling of all equine disciplines. And as Piglet's mom pointed out, it is a very personal journey.
I truly see myself as a bumbling dork once my butt hits that black saddle. I feel like a legless weeble-wobble. You remember those egg-shaped toys that looked like a character? That's me. I feel so unsteady, out of balance, and ridiculous. It seems as though everyone else out there rides so ... effortlessly.
I know what you're saying, she's just fishing for compliments.
Truly, it's not that. I wish I could see myself honestly in relation to other riders. My scores seem to suggest that I ride like everyone else. I mean I scored a 63.5% MY FIRST TIME OUT! How bad can I be? I guess I need someone who doesn't know me at all and who has nothing personal invested in me to say, yep, you're doing pretty well. Why don't you just do a little more of this and a little less of that ... Maybe I could believe that.
So back to the idea that dressage is personal. I am definitely competing solely against myself. I WANT to be better than Introductory, not because there's anything wrong with this level, I just don't want to be stuck at ANY level. I want to advance because to me, it will mean that I am improving.
Okay ... blah, blah, blah, poor baby. Want some cheese with that "whine?" I know that's what you're thinking. I am, too.
So what's the point to all of this? Is it that I need to recognize my strengths and build on them? Get over myself, already? Just get out there and keep riding? After that gloriously "connected" ride Speedy G gave me on Saturday, I do feel that we aren't stuck. We are advancing. Three days ago I wouldn't have considered writing that, and in three more days I'll probably be whining again.
I guess I need to take it when we've got it and hold on to the feeling!
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%: