From Endurance to Dressage
As a last ditch effort to squeeze out a little more summer vacation, my husband took me (and the dogs) over to the beach on Friday. Whenever we take the dogs with us, we always do a Google search for dog-friendly venues. For this trip, we planned to visit a few past favorites while checking out a new place.
The dog beach in Avila is amazing. It's huge and protected from traffic, which gives the dogs plenty of room to run as fast and far as they want. Of course, tossing 150 pounds of wet, stinky dog into the backseat of the truck does diminish a bit of the previous enjoyment.
Our next stop was lunch on the pier in Avila. We chose Mersea's because they claimed to be very dog-friendly. When we saw other dogs sitting politely under the tables, we knew we had a winner. The waitress even brought out a bowl of water for the dogs. We had brought our own of course, but we love dog-friendly businesses.
Once the dogs were good and wore out, we headed over to the Riding Warehouse in San Luis Obispo, or as it's known locally - SLO.
My plan had been to pick up a Union Hill Dressage Pad. Riding Warehouse just started carrying them for $17.95, and if I was already going to be there, why not, right? Except they weren't in stock.
I wasn't too disappointed though as I already have two of them and was just picking up an extra one to keep in reserve.
I had made a list of other things that I was hoping to pick up, so I set about searching for those. Of course my little pile grew the longer I shopped.
I spotted these beautiful breast collars and almost wished that I was still competing in endurance. The western model is pictured below, but it comes in an endurance model too.
Then I looked higher up the wall and saw that it comes in a rope halter too. Best friend has been searching for a red rope halter, so I gave her a quick call and asked if I could buy this halter for her. Who says no to that? She didn't!
Of course, I picked up a few things for myself as well ...
I've been watching this Ariat shirt for a while, but at $35, I couldn't commit. Even when it went on sale, I wasn't ready to pay sale price for a white t-shirt. At $15, I couldn't say no. And actually, I really like it!
My endurance roots will be showing through here, but I ride in the Nunn Finer Rubber Spur Straps. I've only had one pair wear out, and at under $10 a pair, that's a pretty good deal. I have two sets of spurs, one for each horse, so I like to keep an extra set of spur straps for when my current set wear out. I am sure it will be a while.
I am also on a tall sock kick, so I grabbed this pair of Noble Outfitters Printed Peddies for the clearance price of $6.88. I should have grabbed a few extra pair to save as Christmas gifts, but of course I didn't think of that at the time.
Since my husband and the dogs were sitting outside in the shade waiting for me, I kept my visit short. Besides, we had one more stop to make.
We discovered Saucelito Canyon Winery on a previous trip. They love dogs there and are well-prepared. There's a large orchard behind the tasting room so we let the dogs run around and potty before we chose our table on the lawn.
The outside lawn is set up for wine-tasting with plenty of room for the dogs. Both dogs were given treats and shown a water bowl that is kept filled and waiting. Both times we've visited, most of the other patrons have come over to chat and visit our dogs while we sipped our wine. We've found that people are so much friendlier when we have the dogs with us.
My summer vacation might be over, but I think we gave it a pretty good send off.
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%: