From Endurance to Dressage
When most people hear the word California, they think of L.A., the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Hollywood sign. Here in California, we think of those things too. I can't speak for every Californian out there, but I love this state, I and am proud of its amazing diversity. Our geography, our weather, and especially our people make this a truly unique and very special place to live.
If you live in California, you already know that the Dodgers and our beaches only make up a small part of our state's culture and economy. The reality is that California is a major player in the production of the world's food. We grow and produce nearly everything that can be grown and consumed. Our agricultural products range from pistachios and almonds to vegetables you might not have heard of to milk and dairy products.
Which brings me to today's post. While not equine related, there was a truck and trailer involved as well as four hooves.
Kern County is the absolute center of California's agricultural region. If it's grown or raised for food consumption, it probably came from Kern County. As such, our farmers do a lot of outreach to educate the public.
On Friday, the Dairy Council of California sent its Mobile Dairy Classroom to our campus for a farm-to-school assembly. Yes, that is a cow on our basketball court. The Mobile Dairy Classroom brings a live cow to schools to give kids who live in the city a chance to see what lives next door. The kids loved it.
Our presenter was very kid savvy and kept the presentation at a level that really engaged the kids. One of the first things she explained was that our visiting heifer would probably feel the need to "relieve" herself. Since it was important not to scare the cow, we would all applaud politely if said cow needed to use the restroom. And of course, the cow needed to pee early on in the presentation. It was hysterical to see all of our kiddos clapping politely as the cow let go a long stream of urine. I was relived it was only a number one as a "cow pie" might have earned a standing ovation.
As the kids listened, the presenter explained the cow's anatomy pointing out how it correlated to our own. She explained why cows wear ear tags, how much they eat and drink, and of course she discussed milking the cow. To everyone's delight, she milked several streams of milk out onto the ground. The kids thought that was the coolest thing they'd ever seen.
We're in the midst of fair season too. The Great Kern County Fair is always September's must do event. Bakersfield's population is right around 380,000. Last year's fair attendance was over 416,000. Everyone goes. Many of the kids in our school raise animals to show at the fair. One of my student's dad was a cupcake judge. Another friend, an artist, won numerous awards for her gourd paintings. While there this weekend, I also spotted photographs submitted by a former student and others by a friend.
For being one of California's largest cities, we rank ninth in population, we're still just a small town at heart. Agriculture and rural living are uniquely integrated into our urban city center. Cows in the classroom are part of our every day lives. I think it's a great way to live.
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.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
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 …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
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%:
Stuff I Read