From Endurance to Dressage
I didn't get a lot done over the weekend, but it was nice to get back in the saddle. Of course, this week is going to be a little hit or miss as I have after work appointments two out of the five afternoons.
Over the weekend, I finally got to get back on Izzy and do some more work in the double bridle, but this time, I had to do it alone without a trainer in my ear. I don't know why the double intimidated me so much. On Izzy, it fees like the most natural thing. It is so much easier to have a conversation with him. It's almost like I ditched an old, staticky cell phone for one that has a better "connection."
He's still the same horse, that hasn't changed. But now, instead of arguing for 15 minutes about why spooking isn't the way to go, the discussion lasts for 15 seconds, and we move on.
We're still struggling with maintaining a steady tempo, but with the double, the variations in his speed are much smaller. We don't fluctuate between mach 10 and sucking back. Now, we go forward, and I remind him to slow down with a half halt, and he can hear me.
My homework was to work on keeping the tempo steady, but Chemaine also gave me a tip regarding the canter. Instead of thinking, Okay we're getting ready to canter, GET READY, OKAY NOW SHOVE THAT HIP FORWARD, she had me just lift my inside seatbone without all of the other fanfare. All of that preparing and dramatizing only ensured that the transition to the new gait would be a wild launch forward.
So, I worked on getting him deep and soft in the trot and then just (tried) slid my inside seatbone forward. That horse is super sensitive. He flicked an ear back at me and then bounced around a bit, but after organizing his legs, he rolleded into a less wild canter. We tried a few more times until he got it just right. When we switched directions, he picked up the canter effortlessly.
I can't say it enough: this double bridle is proving to be the most valuable tool in my tackroom. I feel like we can now really start moving forward. And on that note, I think we can finally say that we're no longer an Introductory Level team. While we haven't shown there yet, I still feel good about calling us a Training Level team.
Yea for progress!
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%: