From Endurance to Dressage
If you haven't been invited to a barn party this year, throw one. There is nothing more stress-relieving than hanging out with a bunch of like-minded, horse crazy folks eating too much food and laughing at stories that the rest of the would find world find boring.
On Friday night, Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, opened her beautiful home to all of her students and friends for her annual Team Symphony Christmas bash. Chemaine had students from all over Kern County show up, and it's a big county. That lady really gets around!
Team Symphony's party was like a lot of others. We brought more food than anyone could possibly eat, and I mean that. Somehow the two food tables, yes, TWO, kept getting refilled. It was like the miracle of the loaves and fishes. One thing about horse people is that we love to chow down almost as much as we love seeing our horses dive in.
Like most barn Christmas parties, we all brought horsey-themed gifts to swap and steal. At the end of the night, I ended up with not one, but two new ornaments! One I "stole," and the other came from Chemaine. She had hand painted each student's horse on an ornament. Mine had both of my horses depicted!
Part of the evening's festivities included a fun game of "Reassemble This Bridle." I laughed because not long ago I wrote a post about cleaning three bridles and getting confused when I started putting them back together. Chemaine paired me up with my friend Wendy, an amazing barrel racer who also rides dressage. Not to change the subject, but here's Wendy on Bloo.
Since Wendy and I were up first, Chemaine gave us a moment to strategize. Not wanting to be responsible for the crown piece and brow band - I look like a retarded monkey when I try to figure out those pieces and that's in the privacy of my own tack room, I told Wendy to do that part while I tackled the reins and bit. We end up winning with a time of 1:16. Take that, retarded monkey!
Like all good things, the evening eventually came to an end but not before everyone handed out lots of hugs and well wishes. It was a Christmas party after all, and the spirit of good will was definitely felt as everyone wished each other's horses good health, top scores, and success in the coming year.
Thank you for having us, Chemaine. I am so looking forward to 2019!
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%: