From Endurance to Dressage
We've been doing a lot of practice with the counter canter lately, especially the counter canter into a volte - I LOVE that exercise.
On the left lead, Speedy is getting more and more balanced in the counter canter and when we make the turn into the volte, he really drops his haunches and sits for the volte (relatively speaking). The right lead is a whole different thing.
I suspect that I am working on movements that come in Second and Third level, but I am too lazy to really go and look it up. I am know I am not pushing him too hard as we do what he can do, and then I move on to something else.
The trouble we're having is making a 20-meter half circle in the counter canter on the right lead. Speedy just can't quite hold it, so he has started to do an absolutely lovely flying change. It's beautifully done, but we need to be able to hold the counter canter.
What I've started to do is go back a few steps to show him that I actually want him to hold the right lead canter. Instead of half circles, I am doing the shallow loop that comes at the end of First Level Test 3. I am also doing quarter circles up and down the one long half so that he gets a break and a quick release by going back to the right. My court is only about 45 meters so I can only get a few quarter circles, but then I simply repeat the turns down the other long half.
I am using the counter canter to improve his canter work, which is actually working. I just need to make sure I don't inadvertently teach him to make automatic changes on the right lead since he needs to be able to hold the counter canter in the serpentine. I am very conscious of keeping my right hip forward, maintaining a little right bend, and riding him right leg to left rein.
Any advice out there?
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 Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
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