From Endurance to Dressage
Over the past two years, the ranch has acquired a few domesticated-rabbits-turned-feral. The first two were brought by Reggie, the ranch's fix-all-the-things handyman. They both looked just like the rabbits you'd seen in a hutch - lots of white fur with patches of brown. The first one survived for quite a long time. She was pretty smart. The second one had no fear and didn't last long.
We recently acquired a new pair of rabbits, but no one is sure how they got here. The ranch is in a rural neighborhood which is prime real east for dumping animals, but even so, we're at a dead end, and to get to the barn, there is a long driveway. We rarely get lost people, and when we do, they realize it at the top of the driveway, not down by the barn. However they arrived, we now have two reddish brown bunnies.
It's really hard not to try and domesticate our new feral friends. We've all learned not to try and pick them up because rabbits are tough little boogers; they bite and claw. Instead, we keep a water dish filled for them, and I leave them handfuls of rice bran. It has only been in the last week that they haven't high tailed it out of there when I show up. Our first bunny would tangle herself up in my legs until I fed her. She would allow me to stroke her back while she was eating, but that was it.
Bunny number one, the larger of the two, won't let me anywhere near him (or her?). He has also lost most of his beautiful red coat. You can still see a tuft of it behind his ears. Bunny number 2 is still a beautiful reddish brown, and she (?) is less wary. On Tuesday, I left her a pile of rice bran, but I noticed the water dish, which is under the trailer, was low on water. Even though she kept her eye on me the entire time, bunny number 2 let me reach under to get the bowl, and she let me put it back all without bolting.
While the bunnies are fun to have around, we don't want them to get too comfortable with us because then they become easy prey to the many coyotes, hawks, and owls that also live in the neighborhood. For now, they've taken up residence under the hay in the barn which is a safe place. As long as they stay close, they should be fine. Our very first bunny got braver and braver. I would see her nibbling the grass around the arena which is a long sprint back to the safety of the barn. Hopefully these two never gain that level of confidence.
Wouldn't it be fun if they were male and female? Maybe we'll get some baby bunnies.
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%: