From Endurance to Dressage
I've mentioned Reggie's daughter here already. Reggie's the live-in caretaker at the ranch, and Evelynn is his young daughter.
I could just kick myself for not getting some photos from this weekend, but I didn't, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that little girl has horses in her blood.
She's the best "natural" I've ever personally come across. She's so naturally talented that she's the kind you'd be resentful of if she wasn't so darned sweet.
When she visits her dad, she keeps an eye out for me and eagerly greets me in the tack room. After only a few afternoons spent hanging out with me, the girl knows the routine. She knows how many scoops of beet pulp and Platinum Performance each horse gets, and she knows which bucket belongs to each horse.
She knows where the brush bag goes and which brush each horse preferes. After only one or two lessons, she knows how to pick up Speedy's feet and clean them. She's now cleaning his feet on her own without waiting for me to stand by her. On Saturday, she proudly exclaimed, "Speedy's being such a good boy. He's lifting his feet all by himself!"
She then went on to explain how she can see him shift his weight to the other foot in preparation for her. She's in the fouth grade! I quickly explained that it's not him, but her good work in communicating what she wants from him.
But of course, we all know it is Speedy. The dude is just a saint. I've known for a while that he was going to be perfect for kids. He's kind and gentle with her, but he doesn't just behave because she has a nice smile. He makes her work for it. She has to ask just right before he'll do what she says, but when she squares her little shoulders, he snaps to and follows her commands.
While we waited for the backhoe to be finished on Saturday, we dragged out both horses' bridles and cleaned them. Evelyn didn't hesitate. I handed her a pair of reins and showed her how to wet the sponge, squirt on some leather cleaner, and then scrub off the grime. She worked at it diligently until they were cleaner than I would have gotten them.
I then gave her a can of lederbalsam and watched as she gently conditioned the reins and then Speedy's bridle. After a while, she gave a satisfied sigh and said how nice and soft they had become. I kid you not. That was the first time she's ever cleaned tack before. How did she know that the leather finally felt soft and pliable? She has the bug, no doubt about it.
When she didn't come out on Sunday, I was quite disappointed. She's already turned into a legitimate help. She hands me the right pair of spurs, grabs my whip, and even has my gloves ready for me. She delights in toting feed buckets and then carefully pouring the feed into the feeders.
If I am not careful, the girl is going to have both Izzy and Speedy eating out of the palm of her hand as she motors right past me up the dressage levels.
Actually, that would be just fine with me!
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%: