From Endurance to Dressage
When my chiropractor, CC, was here on Sunday, he confirmed something that Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, has also been saying. Izzy has plenty of go; more leg is not the solution. CC described him as having a Big Motor.
CC went on to explain that with a horse like Izzy, you're kind of compelled to ride front to back. He forces you to constantly slow him down with the reins as you ask him to lighten up. It's a problem for sure.
In a lot of ways, having a huge engine is awesome. It doesn't take anything but the merest whisper of a thought to get forward from the big brown horse. On the other hand, it means that he's always trying to get his front end out of the way before it gets run over by his hind end.
I had a really interesting ride last night. It was hot (oh, my God, still?!?!), so my plan was to do some walk/trot in the legal bit. Things started out fine until Izzy remembered that he's terrified of the corner by the road. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've schooled that corner. A billion at least.
With the legal bit, I don't have near the stopping power that I do with my ported bit, so when he wants to run through the bridle, he can. When he flung his head up and pretended he was a giraffe being run down by a pride of lionesses, I gave him as sharp a reminder as I could without any leverage as back up. Which is to say I yanked on him about as noticeably as a tick on a rhino.
We then spent a solid 15 minutes working on vertical and lateral flexion. And darn it if that horse didn't finally soften up his poll and let me move it around. We circled and paced in front of that scary section until he would let me flex and counter flex him without him attempting to flee the scene.
The way I saw it, I had a huge win last night. Getting any kind of submission in that legal bit has been a slow process. I got it last night though. I hate to jinx anything, but I think we've summited yet another mountain. I don't know how many are in the range, but this horse is making progress in leaps and bounds.
I know a brilliant horse is in there somewhere, big butt and all!
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%: