From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy's new Champion Pad is very nice. Unfortunately, he won't be the one wearing it since it's about three sizes too big. Just this weekend, a passing neighbor commented how BIG Speedy was for an Arabian. I laughed to myself and told the gentleman that nope, he was pretty regular-sized at 15'1. Can't be, he argued. I politely told him that I've measured him numerous times and he always comes out the same. The gentleman stepped back, gave Speedy a dubious look, and asserted that he had to be taller. The conversation ended on a cheery note, and I continued saddling my regular-sized Arabian.
Compared to most Dressage Horses (insert a hoitey-toitey tone, please), Speedy is absolutely pony-sized. This has been a problem for us when we shop for tack. Nothing fits. Ever. Headstalls are enormous, or with Cob, they fit awkwardly. Pads swallow him up, as you can see in the video. And finding a girth is even a challenge as there might be one dinky one hiding in the back if I dig long enough. Speedy needs a 24 inch or smaller.
When we were endurance racing, finding tack was cake. Virtually all endurance horses are Arabians so tack is constructed for their smaller bodies. Everything is slightly thinner to accommodate their finer features. Headstalls are scaled for their refined heads. Pads have a shorter drop, and they're frequently a bit shorter across the topline. Halters are smaller and use thinner straps. Aw ... how easy it was to purchase tack for endurance. And now? Not so much.
That's why Speedy won't be wearing his new Champion Pad. He also doesn't get to wear the Riders4Helmets Pad he "helped" me earn earlier this year. That's okay. I've long since gotten over the lack of dressage tack and just use what fits, whether it's for dressage or not. I still get to use the pads as they fit Sydney.
Take a peek at how the pad looked on Speedy G. You'll see what I mean!
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%: