From Endurance to Dressage
A few weeks ago, SprinklerBandits [oops! I was just informed that it was actually Confessions of a Dressage Barbie who asked the question. Sorry about that, Leah!] asked how we answer when people ask if they can ride our horses. By "we," I mean readers of her blog. For the most part, I tend to always have at least one horse that is relatively safe for a beginner. Right now, that is Speedy G, but he wasn't always the bundle of joy that he is today.
I bought Speedy G as a three year old and pretty much wanted to sell him until he was about eight. I often hated riding him, and there was no way I'd force him on anyone else. Back then, Montoya was the "safe" one.
Over the years, Speedy has figured it out. And while he is still more than capable of pulling some wild and crazy moves, at 12 years old, he's become mostly reliable.
A week or so ago, I received an email from a young woman in town who was looking to get back into horses. She had had several years of lessons as a kid, but as she entered high school, other things took over, including college. Now that she is settled in her career, she's looking for a trainer who has lesson horses.
After exchanging a few emails, I invited her over to meet my boys and maybe do a grooming session. I am sure she was completely unprepared, but when I offered to let her hop up on Speedy, she responded with a hearty yes!
I talked to JL, the trainer down the street, and after talking to another neighbor, a lesson horse was procured. I invited my new friend out to meet JL and go for a second ride, this time around the neighborhood. Along the way, we stopped to see the lesson horse and meet his owner.
Speedy was an absolute saint the entire time. I borrowed the western saddle, and even though he'd never worn it before, he plodded along like a well broke cow pony.
The whole time we rode, I carried a secret little grin inside. I did that; I made Speedy into a well-schooled packer who willingly toted around a new rider without giving her any reason to be concerned. Watching Speedy, knowing what a jerk he was for so long, gave me hope. If I just stick it out long enough, Izzy will get there too.
And what of Izzy? This was the first time my two horses had been ridden together, so I wasn't sure how Izzy would behave. I needn't have worried. He hung back a few times, worrying about this or that, but overall, he was so good that I rode most of the way on the buckle.
I love that saying about only looking back to see how far you've come. These past few days did that for me. Well schooled horses are so expensive because they take years to get that way. Izzy only has one year under his belt. No wonder he's still so sassy. Good thing we have plenty of time!
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%