From Endurance to Dressage
The way I see it, there are two ways to approach showing. You can either show at one level until your horse is truly confirmed at that level and the scores reflect that, or you can chase down the 60% and move on. I am not going to say that one approach or the other is better, but I do know what feels right for me right now.
I am two scores away from the California Dressage Society Ruby Award. Two Second Level scores. That's it. Speedy and I are well enough along that we could probably eke out a 60% at Second Level at a CDS show.
I've wanted to try for those two scores all summer long, but I haven't. While I want the scores, I want even more for Speedy to be truly confirmed at First Level before we move on. That's why it's taking me so long to move through the levels. I've faced this dilemma (when to move up) at every level since Intro.
Every time I've gotten bored with the level I am working on, I remind myself how much I love seeing a 70%. Moving to a new level too early isn't going to yield scores that I like. It's that simple.
I want confirmation. I want to know that my horse is confirmed at the level and ready to move on with a solid foundation under his girth. That doesn't mean I am going to finish out the level with 70%, although that happened at Intro and Training Level. For me to feel confident enough to move on to the next level, I need to be earning at least mid-60 scores. We're pretty close.
Ruby Award aside, I have several First Level goals that I'd like to see realized this summer. The first is to do well at the Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) this weekend. We've won at Intro and Training, so it's not an impossibility.
The second is to maybe win my CDS Chapter's Adult Amateur High Point Score for the season. We've also won that one before, but it will take a miracle this year, like maybe a 70%!
I'm also trying to get as many 60% and better scores as possible to add to my CDS plaque. In 2013, we earned a whopping 16 scores. Last year, Speedy struggled with several different lamenesses so we earned a disappointing 4 scores. Right now, we're on track to finish with 13 scores above 60%, but less likely if we chance a Second Level test.
I'd rather finish the season on a high note rather than make the move to Second Level and maybe get a 60% but probably bring home several disappointing 50s. In a way, I guess I am still chasing scores. Thoughts?
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%: