From Endurance to Dressage
Doing the Dance
Izzy was fabulous for my Saturday ride. I knew when I got off that there would still be tense and ugly rides in our future. I was right. The very next morning, Izzy came out of his stall with a bit of a grouchy face. To his credit though, his under saddle shenanigans were limited to a few balky moments, some grunts, and a few squeals.
While his resistance was moderate, so was his ability to relax and accept my leg. It was a boring ride because all I did was insist, relentlessly (this is my new favorite word by the way), that he move his inside leg to my outside hand. I've been working on that concept for years now, but Christian Schacht helped me feel a new level of appreciation for the concept. Inside leg to outside hand ... like literally until I feel him on my outside hand. OH!
We didn't get it perfectly, but he did give in to it over and over again. He just wouldn't stay on the outside rein. I would get a few strides, and then he would hollow his back and jerk his head up. No biggie, I just kept asking, and he kept reluctantly giving.
Eventually, we moved on to the canter work. He picked up each lead when asked - I still get so happy about this, and he never lost the lead. This too makes me very happy. He was hollow though, so I rode the canter in two point until he started to stretch down into the contact. I ever so gently lowered myself to his back and worked very hard to keep a soft, following seat.
It was not a great looking ride, but I still finished the day feeling successful. I don't know why he came out more tense on Sunday than on Saturday, but I very much appreciated how much maturity he showed. He clearly wasn't in the mood, but he kept the strongest of his opinions to himself.
And the next day? He was once again willing and able to relax and accept my leg quickly without a fuss. If this is what his "backward steps" are going to look like, I'll take them!
6/2/2016 06:19:04 am
I love that you can "insist" and he's giving, even if it's not his favorite thing ever. He's becoming such a grown-up!
6/3/2016 07:02:59 am
Me too! I can insist with Speedy all day long without a melt down. Izzy has taken a bit to get to that stage, and I am so happy that he's willing to stay in the conversation.
6/3/2016 07:03:54 am
I didn't mind at all since it gave me a chance to see how "relentless" I can be. I discovered that he'll tolerate a LOT of insisting. :0)
6/3/2016 07:06:40 am
I considered that, but I only rode for 25 minutes the day before ... It's still possible though. Even if he was sore, all I was asking for was long and low which should have helped him stretch any way. If I had been working on deep collection or something, I might have cut him some slack. Since I wasn't, I still expected him to stretch and reach. :0)
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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%: