From Endurance to Dressage
California Barn Life: Is that Rain?
It's been more than 6 months since we have had any measurable amount of rain here in Bakersfield. There's been a prediction of a chance of rain for several days. It finally arrived. As I was saddling. But of course.
Before the rain came though, the clouds grew ominously dark. and the wind began to gust. Since Sydney hadn't been out since Monday, I took the lunge line out with me; he needed it. I sent him around to the left where he gave a couple of bucks and asked to canter. To the right, he started to get that I-am-about-to-go-crazy look so I shortened the line and insisted that he step under with his inside hind.
Sydney doesn't lunge well to the right so I used some of the ideas from the video I posted the other day. Did you see the video? If not, you can catch it here. Anyway, I kept the line short and also kept my right hand high (the inside rein) and "pushed" him over with the slack end of the lunge line. The result was very similar to the lesson we had on Monday.
By keeping my hand high, I was able "lift" his inside shoulder which kept him from falling in on me as I lunged. I have never thought to do that before. I was also able to control his ribcage more effectively by pushing his hindquarters sideways so that the inside hind truly crossed in front of the outside leg. It proved to be quite an interesting exercise.
Once he seemed more relaxed, I hopped on. I could tell he was still quite tense so I returned to our old circling exercise: inside hand planted on my thigh, outside leg sending him forward, switch the bend over and over. Just as I thought we might be getting somewhere, Ineke came walking down the street with Bailey, one of our barn's horses. He had been at JL's place getting his feet done. Sydney turned into a giraffe.
As soon as I got Sydney's head back into our atmosphere, the thunder began to roll. The next moment brought pelting rain. It took me less than half a second to realize that this ride was over. By the time I opened the gate and walked the few feet to the barn, it was pouring.
Alas ... that time of year is upon us: the desire to ride and school is there, but the weather will do its best to foil my good intentions. At least the arena might be dust free for the weekend!
10/12/2012 09:56:13 am
Wow! Rain is really rare for you guys out there. West coast is so different.
10/13/2012 12:22:47 am
Val - weather here is sporadic at best. It might not rain here for three or four more months. Our annual rainfall in the valley is 6 inches at best! We get our water form the snow pack that accumulates in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
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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
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CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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