From Endurance to Dressage
The use of the plural might not be accurate; there's really just one. I hate to even say it out loud because saying it makes it even more real. But here goes:
I really hate being a hack.
The Urban Dictionary defines a hack as a mediocre or second-rate practitioner. Sucking at home, in private, is no big deal. I can do that all day long and not feel bad about it. At home, I can laugh it off and come back tomorrow for another go. Doing it in public is another story.
Making my debut at Second Level at a show where everyone knows me is my worst nightmare. We're going to be mediocre at best. Sure, we might have a few good moments here and there (I can only hope), but the reality is that I am likely looking at a mid-50 score.
Over the years, Speedy has racked up a pretty fair number of fans, and they want to see him do well. New friends have asked whether they can attend the show. My vet is coming. Local friends who only see my carefully selected screen shots will be there.
I am pretty sure they're all going to be wondering just what in the hell I think I am doing up there. Hopefully, most of them will feel sorry for Speedy, secure in the knowledge that he is far more talented than his dumbass rider who can't even get her proverbial crap together.
In three weeks, we make our debut at Second. You're going to see me smiling and laughing and having a good time. But when our simple changes aren't clean and our 10-meter canter circles look more like ovals, don't blame Speedy (or my trainer). Simply roll your eyes and elbow the guy next to you as you quip, "that's our local hack."
I can only hope that I won't be a hack forever ...
2/26/2018 10:33:12 am
What was it like for you in endurance? I think California mostly draws Californians for the small rides. And then there's no middle step, right? You've done it all, so I'd love to hear.
2/26/2018 11:15:26 am
I am not sure I completely understand your question, Lytha, but in short, I never felt unsuccessful as an endurance rider. My completion rate was always really high. I think I pulled 10 times out of 16 years? I started something like 80 races. I did all distances, including hundred milers. I did three hundred in one year! I also did multi-days when I could, a 75 miler, and a few other odd distances (65, 55, etc).
I could have written this post...I REALLY want to be better at this than I am and have super high standards for myself.
2/26/2018 05:25:30 pm
You've shared my experience as well, T. I don't get nervous with my trainer though. And truthfully, as long as I show anywhere but home, I am pretty calm. I get some performance anxiety - I want to do well, but I don't worry away from home because who cares?
2/26/2018 04:54:40 pm
Hack? Not even close 😁 I think it takes some MAJOR, uhmmmm, lady balls to even enter a dressage show and put it all out there! At least in endurance we can blend in with the crowd and not feel like we are on display. In dressage it is all you - and only you - in a ring to be judged. Talk about pressure! You are already a winner in my book for having the courage to show your lovely Speedy off. I can't wait to hear how you do. Relax, have fun, be proud of your pony, be proud of yourself😊
2/26/2018 05:31:42 pm
Too funny! Do you know how many times I barfed at the start (middle, end) of an endurance ride because of nerves? A LOT! Even after 15 years of competing, I would still get anxious with nausea! It was so embarrassing. As soon as that whistle blows, I can't even see outside of the dressage court. I get so hyper focused on my test that a nuclear bomb could go off and I wouldn't even hear it.
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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%: