From Endurance to Dressage
I have a small confession: my motivation has waned, and I am so grateful.
You see, I have a bit of a type A/OCD kind of personality. When I latch onto something, I am in it 'till I either beat it, or it kicks my butt.
These last few months have found me absolutely driven to "fix" both Speedy and Sydney's issues all within a 180 day time frame. I was determined that I would do everything humanly possible to have Speedy emerge from his 180 day rehab sound and fit. Doing "everything humanly possible" meant hand walking 7 days a week and then riding him nearly 7 days a week for the prescribed time. It was killing me.
At the same time, I had set the task of turning Sydney into a well behaved and successful dressage horse within Speedy's 180 days of rehab. I was going to kill all of my birds with that one stone. This was also killing me. Frankly, no one can keep that pace.
In addition to doing a perfect rehab and perfectly training a second horse, I was feeling some frustration at work that was draining me of all sense of usefulness. I was heading down a path fraught with disappointment. No one can do everything perfectly, especially me.
And then that all changed. For the better. All it took was a phone call and a vacation.
I had kept it a secret from my colleagues, friends, and family (Hubby knew), but I had decided to do something about the job situation. I applied for a transfer, interviewed quietly, and kept my fingers crossed. I got a call with an offer for the position the afternoon before we flew to Washington, DC. I'll still be teaching, of course, but I'll be in a new school beginning this fall.
Letting go of that particular worry started a domino effect that knocked down a slew of other worries.
While we were on vacation, I didn't worry about either of my horses. I knew their needs were being met, and it didn't matter that Speedy wasn't getting ridden and that Sydney was missing a week of schooling. Somehow, taking that new teaching position erased the time impediment that I had placed in front of all of us.
And then I took my boys to the vet which meant nearly another week off from "real" work. Both boys felt puny, and I was okay with it. Rather than worry at them and resent the time out of the saddle, I used those barn-free days to work on my own fitness and spend some time with my husband.
And then it rained. Again, I let it go and pushed my barn time to later in the day and never felt stressed that I didn't get to spend as much time grooming, riding, cleaning, and messing around as I normally do.
It's like a pressure valve has opened allowing my stress to simply be released. I hadn't realized how much my work frustrations were leaking into the rest of my life. Now that I have a new position waiting for me, everything else is just small stuff.
Is it a coincidence that I had two of the best rides ever on Saturday afternoon?
I don't think so.
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%: