From Endurance to Dressage
I am over the moon happy.
Sydney is just too awesome for words. Just six months ago, we could usually get a left lead canter that wasn't an explosion, but not always. To the right, I could maybe get one, but it always surprised both of us. After the first right lead canter, Sydney was a run-away freight train. I would spend the rest of the ride trying to re-establish some sort of rhythm.
My one and only goal for Sydney this summer is to develop a sane, right lead canter departure. I am just over three weeks into my summer vacation, and while I hate to jinx myself, we have very nearly accomplished that goal.
JL is such a great teacher. Once I made the connection with Christian Schacht about how much weight I might need to take in the outside, left rein, everything started to come together. For Sydney to be able to do a right lead canter, we had to fix his roll-over to the right and show him that not only was I able to make a decision, but that he never has to.
So, here are the 10 steps we took to get Sydney's right lead canter.
When I rode him yesterday, I put all of this together and got multiple trot to canter transitions that were calm and happy. I was even able to hold the right lead canter while we turned down centerline and then turned back to the rail at B. Rather than make a 20-meter or 10-meter circle, I worked on making the 10-meter bend into a few straight strides followed by another 10-meter bend coming back. We made a long, narrow oval.
After making the 10-meter turns, I asked him to stay on the long side and was THRILLED that he did it with no rhythm change. That was the first time he's come out of the corner on a right lead canter and gone straight without panicking.
I don't know that all of this progress will be easy to access once we leave our home arena, but I now have some excellent tools in my belt that will help him stay with me. Our next attempt at a show might be in August. Until then, we'll just keep polishing that right lead canter!
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%