From Endurance to Dressage
My first championship ride was not until 4:14 in the afternoon, which meant I had all day to sit and do whatever I wanted. Right away I knew that Speedy needed to hit the trail again. I focused on everything that Chemaine had talked about. I got him deep and round and worked to get him off my inside leg by leg yielding across the trail and by doing a bit of a shoulder fore as we walked around the bridle path of LAEC.
I spent the rest of the day watching rides (there were nearly 1,500 of them) with my friend, Valerie who is an upper level rider and a great resource for tips and feedback. She actually rides a German Riding Pony to great success. We watched quite a few freestyles in the Equidome which was a lot of fun.
Chemaine met me in the warm-up ring. We again worked on getting Speedy deeper and wiling to go forward. Getting the bend with forward is our challenge right now, but we're getting it. Look at the second photo!
What made this championship test so interesting, for me as a rider anyway, was that there was not only a C judge, but a judge at E. I know that's par for the course at CDIs, but for this small-town girl, I was impressed. I worried that having a judge at E would distract me, but just like having someone sitting in the box at C, I never even noticed they were there once I did my around the court trot by. I did make sure to thank the judge at E though as I exited the ring; I figured it couldn't hurt!
Here's the test ...
When we finished our final salute, I knew it wasn't a winning ride, but I knew it was the best that I could do. No matter how much better I may want to ride, the reality is that I can only perform as well as I am trained. Speedy isn't going to walk into the ring and start piaffing because he wants to. So while we didn't hit a home run, I know I worked hard and rode to the very best of my ability.
At the RAAC, I let myself feel intimidated by the "better" riders, and I let myself get distracted during my final test. That didn't happen at the championship, and no one would have blamed me had that happened. I was really pleased with how focused I kept myself. I didn't make any mistakes, my transitions were on time, and I was riding in the moment every moment. That's the best I can ask of myself.
Part B Test 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%: