From Endurance to Dressage
I just finished reading R. J. Palacio's Wonder, the book about a boy who was born with a severe facial disfigurement. If you haven't read it, or if you don't know anything about it, check it out. It's worth the read even if you're not in the fifth grade.
Early on in the book, Auggie's English teacher, Mr. Browne, presents the kids with monthly precepts, or what he calls "rules about really important things." The first precept he assigns the class to write about is this one by Dr. Wayne Dyer: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."
That really struck a chord wth me. I like to be right. I also like to be kind. It made me stop and wonder if I sometimes choose being right over being kind. I had to admit that yes, it probably happens.
And then I got to thinking that many horse people, especially dressage people, deal with this conflict pretty often. Dressage, and horse ownership in general, is fraught with people who have THE ANSWERS. It seems as though the second you voice an idea, SOMEONE (or twenty someones) immediately knows EXACTLY what you should do.
There are a couple of relationships in my life (I am not going to name names) where I am struggling with being right or being kind. For the first one, I realized that I couldn't change this person's view, but what I could do was respond to it differently than I had been. Instead of being right, I've decided to be kind. It's funny, because that idea is also addressed by Dyer. He says, "How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours." I haven't had a lot of opportunities to practice this change in my response, but I am prepared.
In the second relationship, it's my friend who wants to be right. All the time. About everything. And it's horse stuff, so you know I have an opinion as well, but we aren't necessarily agreeing. While I haven't been unkind yet, I can feel it coming. Instead of worrying about whether my own opinion gets heard or not, I've decided to be especially kind instead. Mr. Browne's precept for the month of March should be a corollary to the first, Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. - Blaise Pascal.
I think it's worth a try.
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%: