From Endurance to Dressage
Watching and absorbing as much as I could was my plan for day 3; I didn't have a ride scheduled. The truth is, there were no bad horse and rider teams at the championship show. Everyone who was there had already shown that they deserved to be there by qualifying earlier in the season, so watching the best of what California had to offer was a lot of fun.
I had made a list, which included ride times and ring numbers, for all of the riders who I knew personally. Hopping from ring to ring to ring kept me busy for the better part of the day. I also held coats and whips, polished boots, and cheered loudly. Sometimes I was the only one cheering which meant I had to cheer even louder!
I also managed to use LAEC’s bridle path, which was a highlight of the day. Speedy was a bit of a stinker; he told me quite emphatically that he DID NOT remember being an endurance horse. The trail was too scary, and he wanted to walk RIGHT NEXT TO LEO (said with quite a lot of hoof stamping). It only took a few minutes of my spur jammed into his belly before he suddenly remembered about being a trail horse.
The trail encircles LAEC and is an access point to Griffith Park (and the Hollywood sign). Leo’s rider told me that the loop is about 2 miles in length. We rode it once with her, and then we picked up Cola’s rider as we were nearing the gate. Leo and Amy walked back to the barn while Cola and Speedy rode the loop again. We ended up spending about 45 minutes on the trail, which was a great way for Speedy to spend a non-showing day. It’s hard to be cooped up in a stall all day. Our mid-day ride proved to be an excellent way to use up some excess energy.
Jen, the chair of Ventura CDS, was the ring steward for the Equidome, which is where the BIG classes were held. It was also the staging area for all of the awards ceremonies. At the end of the day, I went up to keep her company and ended up with a small volunteer job myself. Some of the riders hadn’t had time to get their ribbons, which were required to be worn during the awards ceremony. I toted the “dummy” ribbons around to loan out to the riders as they did their victory laps. I even had the pleasure of placing neck and bridle ribbons on Hilda Gurney’s horse.
The day ended at the hospitality tent with fried chicken and potato salad. Jen and I enjoyed our dinner on the patio laughing and sharing trail riding stories. There was a lovely breeze, and the sun slowly set while we enjoyed the evening. Isn’t it funny how food tastes so much better at a horse show?
Still more tomorrow ...
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%: