From Endurance to Dressage
Can I Ride Your Horse?
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!
It is so nice to have a horse you can trust with someone who's skills you aren't 100% knowledgeable about. Paige is my best for newbies and really makes them work for upward transitions, which is good, because my biggest paranoia with new people riding for the first few times is that they'll accidentally end up going faster than their balance allows. ;)
7/20/2016 11:40:21 am
Exactly my concern as well. Before we hit the trail, I gave her a crash course on where and how to apply the emergency brake. :0)
7/20/2016 06:41:45 am
Awww, what a good pony Speedy!
7/20/2016 11:40:50 am
For other people - he was a jerk for me today! LOL
I got to go on a trail ride with both of my horses this weekend and it was awesome.
7/20/2016 11:41:57 am
The whole time L rode on the first day, I giggled and laughed. Speedy was just so cute to watch! And it IS fun to watch someone else enjoy your horse. :0)
Did you maybe mean my post, not SprinklerBandits? 😉 Unless she wrote about it too, and I missed it, haha. I just remember a really good comment from you on my post about it -- especially that you'd be thrilled if someone wanted to ride one of your horses. Glad that things worked out so well!
7/20/2016 11:37:28 am
Well that explains why I couldn't find the original post to reference! I just made the correction/addition, giving you credit! :0)
7/20/2016 12:00:04 pm
For some reason I assumed it was one of her Teach Me Tuesday posts. When I couldn't find it, I thought I must have just missed which day she wrote it. I am glad you chimed in - I am ALWAYS happy to promote other blogs, especially when someone shares something that is a universal issue. :0)
7/20/2016 11:02:25 am
Fun times and lucky lady to get to ride Speedy.
7/20/2016 11:42:39 am
Aw, thanks. She was quite a looker. :0)
7/20/2016 02:49:24 pm
I think teaching a horse to carry any rider gives a horse a much better chance at a long and happy life. When anyone can ride, the horse is usually guaranteed a "spot' should something happen to his current owner. :0)
I will let people ride Irish and have given children pony rides on him. Like Speedy he was a handful when younger. now he seems to enjoy taking care of people.
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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
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%: