From Endurance to Dressage
Yesterday was supposed to be a turn out day for Izzy, but I really wanted to ride. I saddled up anyway and tooled around our neighborhood. Before doing that though, I braided Izzy's mane. It's a bit of a long story, and I promise to tell it in the next day or so.
Again, long story, but it was the first time I've ever ridden him with braids. The view was very different, and it was actually quite fun to ride around on such a fancy hunk of horse flesh. When we rode by the Haner Family Farm, they were having some kind of happy hour on the porch and gave us the equine version of a cat call. Instead of the quintessential whistle, we got lots of "ooh what a pretty horse!" Doesn't hurt my feelings.
I stopped to give them an eyeful as I waved. I always let their kids come up and pet whomever I am riding, so I thought they would appreciate the view. What do they say? Hate to see them go, but love to watch them walk away. Yeah. Izzy's some good eye candy.
Since Izzy has been such a jerk the last few days, I decided to use the trail ride as an opportunity to work on relaxation and softening to the outside rein at the walk. Overall, he did pretty well. He was tense as all get out - he's not a fan of being ridden alone, but he kept it together.
On the backstretch, the stretch of road that leads back to the barn, he got so tense that his stride was literally six inches long, if that. It's extremely frustrating, but I've yet to find a successful way to encourage him to relax his back and step forward other than persistence. He was in such a tight ball, that my rein was actually slack as he got rounder and rounder. It was almost a piaffe.
Once we passed the barn, his stride did get longer, but then he tried to rush forward. On the far side of the neighbor's property, there's a dirt road adjacent to a former private "golf course" (three-hole course?). I used that field many times with Sydney. When Izzy got really bunched up and was refusing to go forward, I put him to work in the field. Each time we circled past the way home, he shoved (or tried to) his shoulders out and threw a temper tantrum.
We worked that area for a good 20 minutes, both directions, until he quit fussing and actually trotted in a circle without trying to rear or bolt. Little stinker. So while my plan was to just take it easy, Izzy ended up getting a workout after all. By the end though, we walked home with me having won the discussion.
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%: