From Endurance to Dressage
It is no secret that I am a voracious reader. I get through around 60 books a year. Sometimes I'll read three books in a week; other times I'll labor three weeks on the same book. I gravitate towards "literary fiction," especially stuff written in the early to mid-twentieth century. I also love dystopian novels - I just finished Robert Silverberg's Hawksbill Station which is both dystopian and science fiction and written in the mid-twentieth century. Be still my heart.
While I tend to favor certain genres over others, I do step outside of my comfort zone when something piques my interest. All the Murmuring Bones comes to mind. That's another one I read this summer; it's a gothic fairytale featuring mermaids, magic, and beasts best left undisturbed. And of course, I also read books featuring horses.
While we were in Nashville, I finished The Ride of Her Life. The cover is horrible, and it almost caused me to scroll right past. It was the author that stopped my finger from hitting next. Elizabeth Letts. As soon as I saw her name, I knew I was buying the book no matter what its subject matter.
If you read any books featuring horses, you'll no doubt have seen Letts's other two books, The Eighty-Dollar Champion - the story of a horse bought off a meat truck who ends up being the greatest show jumper of his time, and The Perfect Horse - the story of the horses rescued from Hitler during World War II. I loved both of those books so much that I knew without a doubt that Ride ... would be equally fascinating. I wasn't disappointed.
You can easily read the book's summary here, but in short, the story is about an elderly woman in the mid-1950s who saddles up and heads west from Maine, intent on reaching the Pacific Ocean and California. It is a delightful book that weaves together mid-century Americana with one woman's relationship with her horses and dog. I could not read it fast enough.
If you're looking for a feel good, fascinating, horse-filled book, read The Ride of Her Life. I know you won't be disappointed. If you've read it, I'd love to hear what you thought. And now, excuse me as I continue something else out of my comfort zone, Beartown, a book about hockey in a small, forest town written by Fredrik Backman.
Not mid-twentieth century, dystopian, nor science fiction, but it's sucking me in.
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%: