From Endurance to Dressage
My barn is really quiet; normally it's just me riding and puttering around. Shelly, the other boarder is generally there in the mornings and my barn owner doesn't usually pull in until I am about done for the day. This makes it really hard to get riding pictures or conformation shots.
On Sunday, one of my barn owners was working around the barn, so I begged for a few body shots while I tried to stand Izzy up straight. It's not like I have much to compare to however, but I wanted to see if his topline is developing as much as I think it is.
Here's a photo from the day I bought him.
Not a very flattering photo, but I didn't get many from the side that day. His head looks huge here although in real life, he has a a finer head than his body would suggest. He's also sporting the first half of his winter coat which makes him look scruffy. If you enlarge the small photo, you'll see that his coat was actually quite shiny.
When I first saw him, I liked his conformation. His neck ties into his body higher than does Speedy's which I hoped would help him lighten his front end more easily (down the road). He also has very nice withers and a broad back. His badonkadonk is also quiet substantial. Hopefully it will be a load bearing structure.
Here are some photos that my barn owner helped me take over the weekend.
I pulled him straight out of his stall with no grooming, so the shine is all his. Five pounds of rice bran daily are probably helping with that. When I compare these photos to the ones above, I am happy with what I see. While he looks as though he is or was about to take a forward step in the lower photos, you can still see the nice muscling that he is developing.
He doesn't have such a bubble butt like he did in the November photos, and his belly looks much more toned. And to my (very partial) eye, it looks as though his back is filling in, especially behind his withers.
After all the effort to get him to stand square and at "attention," I was able to get this shot while he was turned out. Something had caught his eye, so he froze in place and stood almost square.
I like the little crease there in his butt cheek, and even from this angle you can see that his back is nicely filled in with withers higher than his croup. In this photo his neck looks short, but in the one above it, his neck looks longer with a more open throat latch.
When I look at him, there isn't really anything I don't like. His head could be prettier, but that's just the Arab owner in me talking. I like the finer and more elegant faces of the well-bred (not over-bred) Arabians; Speedy's lovely noggin comes to mind. And of course that hind leg looks terrible (left hind). I am hoping that the lumpiness of the wound eventually goes away.
I will definitely get more shots of him this summer to compare to these spring photos. But so far, I think he's developing nicely.
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%: