From Endurance to Dressage
Best Butt Selfie, Ever!
I know. Not the kind of title you would typically see me use. In fact, I hate selfies and avoid them whenever possible. Not saying there is anything wrong with them, but I look barely acceptable in a posed, deliberate photo. In a selfie, forget it. But a butt selfie is a whole 'nother story!
What the heck is this brownish mark on Speedy's back?
If you guessed a dusty butt print, you're absolutely right. I've got the matching mark on my breeches to prove it.
Yep, that's right! Speedy is back under … saddle. Sort of. We just finished our first 45 day chunk of the heal and rehab process. Those 45 days were spent hand walking daily. The next 45 days are for walking under saddle. Boring work, but worth the effort.
Rather than view this as drudgery, I have made it my mission to turn these few months of boring into something productive. Believe it not, the 45 days of hand walking were good for Speedy. His ground manners were already pretty good, but he does have a bad habit of spooking into me when he's frightened. We worked hard on that this last month so that he is now trying to not run me over when he gets spooked.
I have to give my boy some serious kudos. I hadn't planned on riding him yesterday; it was a spur of the moment idea. I threw my riding halter on (it's a rope halter with rings for the reins) and grabbed my helmet. I had picked out his feet but hadn't even bothered to run a brush over him. As we walked out to the arena, I realized that I hadn't even changed out of my Mudruckers.
So there I was: rubber boots, bareback, halter, and a horse who hasn't been allowed to even trot for more than 6 weeks. A recipe for total disaster, but it wasn't. Speedy stood patiently by the mounting block as I popped up. We spent the next 20 minutes getting reacquainted. I did a lot of just walking on the buckle, but then I started to ask for a bit of a frame and some simple lateral work … in a halter! He was quite simply a perfectly well behaved, well schooled boy. My heart swelled with pride!
We have 6 weeks to play around with the walk. I am going to use that time to first ride with no saddle so that I can work on my balance and seat aids, but then I plan to move to rides with no stirrups. By the end of April, my goals are to improve my own position, have Speedy really listening to my seat aids, and improve his desire to reach for contact.
By the way, he was so fat and round that it felt like I was on a sofa!
3/29/2014 03:01:53 am
Wow, 45 days already? How time has flown!
3/29/2014 10:52:35 am
I agree! Look for a post in a few days about the benefits of walking. :0)
3/29/2014 10:53:18 am
Thank you! It was great to feel him back underneath me. :0)
3/29/2014 10:53:39 am
3/29/2014 10:54:14 am
I have a full on walk program planned that should help us both improve.
3/29/2014 11:57:02 pm
I grew up riding bareback so I don't care about the butt mark. I really enjoy feeling his back move beneath me. :0)
3/29/2014 11:36:46 pm
Isn't bareback so much fun! ;) All the work at the walk will definitely help you later! I haven't been doing any trot/canter work under saddle because I'm working to get her moving correctly on the lunge line before I try it on her back, but tons of walk work helps with everything. Have fun! :)
3/29/2014 11:58:22 pm
Thanks. Speedy and I have done lots of bareback before, but being "forced" to focus on the walk is kind of nice. best of luck in your own work.
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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%: