From Endurance to Dressage
I am not sure I've found the funny yet, but best friend and I did laugh our butts off the entire weekend. Sometimes it was even at Hilda's expense, or mine.
Now that I've had a few days to mull it over, I think I know why this clinic demoralized me so much. Besides hearing about EVERYTHING that I am doing wrong, which would take the wind out of most anyone's sails, I realized that Hilda simply took the fun out of things. I am not saying she's humorless or anything, although she might be, but she just took the darn thing too seriously.
Let's face it. We're adult amateurs. We have jobs, husbands, kids, friends, and other stuff to do besides ride our horses. We love riding, we love showing, but there's a bit more to life. Most of us have no aspirations of being Olympians or WEG competitors. We're just happy to eke out our 60% scores towards a bronze, move up a level now and then, and maybe even get a ribbon or two.
So when Hilda told me I don't react fast enough one day and then told me that I over-react the next day, I just laughed it off. When she told me I need to ride more often, I laughed that off too. She doesn't know I ride five to six days a week, and if she had known, she probably would have been horrified that so much saddle time isn't helping.
She also said I should try to ride different horses. I think she forgot that I also ride a second horse, one that is totally different in shape and attitude than Speedy. If she thought I rode Speedy terribly, she would have kicked me out if she'd have seen me tootle around on the big brown horse.
When she heard that I've owned Speedy for ten years, she actually said that I should have learned to ride him better by now. She then praised him for being such a nice horse (in spite of me is what she was obviously thinking). I couldn't help it when I saucily threw out that I had done his training myself. She harrumphed a little and begrudgingly said that I must have done a good job. I don't think she believed me.
I learned a lot from Hilda, and most of it was good. My biggest take away from the weekend though was that no matter how intensely I ride, I actually need a trainer who can keep it lighter and more humorous for me. I beat myself up plenty already; I don't need help doing that. With Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, I know that she's going to teach me correctly, but she's also going to do it in a positive, supportive, and friendly manner.
For a good time, call her!
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%