From Endurance to Dressage
I am not much of a bridge burner, but there are days when I really want to just flip someone the bird and burn that bridge to the ground.
It is really annoying to be a responsible adult.
It is even more frustrating to be an over-achiever with a perfectionist streak. Type A personalities don't typically burn bridges as it is a messy process that ultimately creates more work for the person that needs everything Just So.
So, while I would love to torch that mother forklift, I'm going to let it stand. It's probably going to slowly rot away, unused, but at least it won't ruin everything else residing next to it.
I think a lot of bridges are burned in the riding/showing/training world. How else do you tell your trainer that you want to work with someone else? How do you tell your barn owner that you're moving across the street? What about your farrier? Picking a new farrier clearly tells the old one, "you're subpar."
Choosing different professionals to either work with the rider or the horse, generally tells that professional you're fired. I've been down that path a few times, and in my case, it wasn't that I meant to burn the bridge, but I needed something that the trainer or farrier couldn't give me. I was respectful and forthright, but no matter how you slice it, getting fired is getting fired no matter how you sugar coat it.
What makes burning bridges where I live even more precarious is that we don't have very many bridges. We're a large city with a very small town atmosphere. If you start burning bridges here, you had better be prepared to go the long way around.
The dressage community is particularly small here. There's me and about 5 other ladies. There is one "big name" trainer, but she's not easy to get a lesson with as her schedule is pretty packed with her full-time horses. Early on I decided that I needed to go out of town for lessons which is why I ended up riding with Chemaine Hurtado and Dr. Christian Schacht. Like I said, not many bridges ...
I constantly wish I lived in a dressage-dense community with lots of choices in trainers, riding venues, and other dressage riders. It's not like I would be running around torching every bridge that didn't meet my expectations, but it would sure be nice to at least occasionally be able to flip the bird and ride away on my high horse.
How about you? Have you burned any bridges lately?
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%