From Endurance to Dressage
RM and Bounder in the background, me with a dorky grin!
Speedy G and I had quite an adventure last night! We weren't alone though. Barn owner, RM, and her Steady Eddy, Bounder, joined us for a moonlight ride to check out the Holiday Lights display at the California Living Museum (CALM). If you're local, you know what a Christmas draw this event has become. CALM is a zoo filled with local wildlife. Each Christmas the zoo covers every square inch of it's facility with billions of Christmas lights. It's quite a spectacular display. Click the photo for a larger view.
RM and I left the barn at 4:30 for the fifteen minute drive to Hart Park, which is just a mile or two down the road from the zoo. We had just enough daylight to tack up and start our ride. As we ambled along the river's edge, the last of the sun's light disappeared, and we were left walking in the dusk. Within minutes, the full moon, large and orange, crested the top of the hill. With a full moon and clear skies, the ride along the river was dramatic. Both horses seemed to enjoy the outing and marched quite perkily toward the zoo.
Our plan was to ride along below the bluff on which CALM is located. This is the back side of CALM, which is mostly concealed by a stand of trees. We could see some lights as we approached, but most of the best view was hidden. As we rounded the corner and climbed the last small rise, CALM's entrance lay before us. The dazzling lights left us a bit speechless. My pictures do not do the display justice.
We carefully navigated through the busy traffic and crowds, pausing for a few quick photos. CALM's traffic people were eager to see us move along so we didn't get to stand and ogle as long as I would have liked. With the display behind us, we rejoined the trail, and headed back towards the park. The moon was now fully risen, and our path was bathed in silvery moonlight.
When we retuned to the trailer, the horses enjoyed a quick hay snack while we sipped on hot chocolate from thermoses. Suffice it to say that it was a very enjoyable ride with a very pleasant riding partner!
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%: