From Endurance to Dressage
I've recently suffered a crisis in faith. Faith in myself that is. The clinic that I attended a few weekends back really rocked my little world, and not in a good way. I left the clinic feeling like the world's worst rider. Worse than that, how could it get worse?, I felt like I had no business even being on a horse.
I muddled around on both ponies for a few days, but nothing I was doing was effective. Speedy felt picked on and Izzy lost all of the confidence that I had helped him develop. I had more than one good cry and finally called my trainer.
She tried to convince me that I am a good rider with a lot of accomplishments under my belt. She shared stories of trainers telling her the same things I had heard: quit now, you're not good enough, you're ruining your horse, and so on. I wanted so much to believe her, but negative comments are so much easier to believe than are positive ones.
The one thing that she has repeatedly told me that I believe without hesitation is that I am a thinking rider. Not an over-thinker, but a rider who works out the puzzle. Since I ride alone all the time and can only get a lesson about once a month, I am forced to either commit the same mistake over and over, or I have to figure out the solution for myself.
Our chat by phone has certainly helped, but I am still struggling to regain my enthusiasm and confidence. I've had a string of bad rides on Izzy, but last night, I finally took matters into my own hands and worked through the puzzle. To my astonishment, I was able to get some positive work from him again.
I left the barn feeling more upbeat than I have in weeks. I may not be a great rider, or even a good one for that matter, but I am an excellent problem solver which is a strength in itself. Izzy appreciated my leadership which in turn helped to restore some of his confidence.
I guess the point of all of this is that we all bring different strengths to what we do, and it's important to recognize them. I let someone convince me that I don't have any, and that's simply not true.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%