From Endurance to Dressage
I am adding to my let's work on this list. Number one on the list is the simple change. It is getting better, so I must be doing something right. In fact, when I rode Speedy on Tuesday, I did a line of pretty decent simple changes down centerline. We cantered three strides, walked several strides, and then picked up the new lead. Doing them out in the open seemed to help.
Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, has a good tip for picking up the counter canter. She suggests cantering out of the arena. In other words, if you're on the rail, position yourself so that you could actually canter out of the arena if there were room. It's a great visual to get your seat and aids in the correct position for a change of lead.
The next thing we need to tackle is more counter canter. Speedy can do the 20-meter half circle. In fact, he can hold it for the whole circle as long as I don't change direction. I am having trouble with the 3 loop serpentine from Second Level Test 3 because you have to change direction.
When I asked for it on Tuesday, I couldn't get Speedy to change direction; he was committed to turning left. When I made the loop shallower, like in First Level Test 3, he started to figure out what I wanted. One problem I have is that my arena is short. That means my first and last loops have to be 15-meter circles so that my counter canter loop is 20-meters.
When we couldn't get it on Tuesday, I scrapped the serpentine and did lots of simple changes to work on his balance. When I ride today, I'll go back to the three loop serpentine, but I'll start them very shallow to see if that helps Speedy loosen up a bit.
Chemaine also gave me a couple of other tips: open my outside rein a bit to draw his shoulders around; bring the outside rein back a little to keep him sitting (like in a turn on the haunches; and finally, push his haunches around to sort of pivot his body in the direction I need him to go.
I'll keep you posted.
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%: