From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy's patience finally ran out on Tuesday. This whole not working until he has some hoof under him finally got to him. He kicked down his gate and busted out.
Speedy's desire to work or play with me can be a bit ... cloying at times. I love that he loves me, but honestly, did he need to tear down the barn?
Speedy gets at least 12 hours of turnout a day. At dinner time, this gate is chained open so that he can use the large sandy pasture at his will. At breakfast time, his gate gets locked so his neighbor gets daytime turn out. This system works great for me because I no longer have to worry about whether or not my horses are getting enough time out of their stalls.
For Speedy though, turnout isn't enough. Yes, the nighttime walking dissipates his energy, but it's the social interaction with me that he needs to be happy. He has a neighbor who he plays with, but the dude knows I am his person, and his feelings get hurt when he doesn't get enough of my time.
Speedy's been laid up for two months. During that time, I've spent a few minutes each day with him caring for the hoof, looking for any cuts or bumps, and checking his weight. At least one day a week, I bring him out for a groom and a graze on the lawn. In the last three or four weeks, I've also hopped up on him bareback and ridden around the property in a halter. It obviously hasn't been enough.
Even though Izzy hasn't been ridden in three days, I devoted Thursday afternoon to my gray pony. He practically purred. I scraped off as much of the crusted-on dirt as I could, and then led him up to the arena. I still don't have an all-clear to ride, but I wasn't worried about damaging anything with a walking ride.
Speedy was high as a kite, but he was thrilled to be working again. I did a bunch of leg yields, haunches in, and a bit of half pass - all at the walk. When we were finished, I hosed him off while he stood politely and quietly. Satisfaction simply oozed from him; all was once again right with his world.
I think he's ready to get back to work, even if it's just at a walk. I know he'll get the go ahead in a few weeks anyway, so if I start by working him at the walk now, he'll be just that much fitter and more supple once we start trotting.
And really? I've missed him just as much as he missed me. Maybe more so.
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%: