From Endurance to Dressage
The first day’s rides were either USDF Region 7 Championship rides or CDS warm-up rides. The warm-up rides were just that, a warm up for the CDS Horse of the Year (HOY) Championship classes. The scores counted for USDF Rider Performance Awards, USDF Medals, and so on, but they weren’t used to calculate the HOY.
My ride wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t up to the caliber of work that we’ve been putting in over the last few months either. I didn’t necessarily feel tense, but a friend who has only ever seen me at clinics, not shows, noted the difference. I was glad she pointed it out because for my next two rides I focused on relaxing and letting go of the tension.
My tension comes from a very strong desire to do well. I am not out to beat anyone else per se, I simply want to do better than the last test I rode, wherever it was. And yes, I realize that this is a competition and someone has to be the winner, but honestly, my goals are always about improvement. I would rather be dead last with a 69% than win with a 62%.
Somewhere during the second half of the test, I gave myself a hard shake and tossed my tension out the back window. As I trotted away from the judge down the long side, I laughed out loud and told myself to get over the tension and ride my horse like I knew how to do. I wish I could say that my scores improved dramatically at that moment, and maybe they did go up bit, but there was no miraculous recovery. With that said, it was a steady eddy test with nothing lower than a 6.0, which gave me a final score of 62.500%.
At first, I was a little disappointed in the score until I realized that I was competing against the best riders in California at the biggest CDS Championship show ever.
There were seven riders in my warm-up class:
5. 62.500% (me)
So while a 62.500% isn’t worth a huge celebration, it wasn’t completely out of the playing field either. It was a huge show with a level of activity that we’ve never seen before. I went to bed that night pretty pleased with how we’d done. A score in the low 60s might not get us in the ribbons for HOY, but it was still a solid effort.
Continued 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
*** 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%