From Endurance to Dressage
Just to relieve you of any tension, we finally got a score above 60% at a Third Level test at a USDF-rated show. Not a huge amount over 60%, mind you. In fact, we earned a 60.405%, just 1.5 points over the necessary 222 needed for a 60% at Third Level Test 1. Do I care? Nope. We earned it fair and square.
As in everything Speedy and I do, Saturday's two tests, Test 1 and Test 3, were a mixed bag with both good and bad moments. Test 1 was filled with a very long list of mediocre 6.0s and 6.5s. We had a few 5.5s and a lone 5.0. Add that all up and you get 60%.
For test 1, we didn't make any real errors other than one. I hate to show everyone in the warm up ring our "ugly." It's the ugly that Speedy needs though to put on a better performance. He needs to know that I am going to smack him once or twice if he doesn't get his butt moving. I didn't smack him like I should have, so we had a lackluster performance.
Don't get me wrong; I am not dismissing a 60% score as "lackluster." I have worked both our butts off to cross that magical line in the sand. In fact, when I got word that I had finally earned my first qualifying Third Level score, I burst into tears. Did I raise the roof, high five everyone in the barn, or do a happy dance. Negative, Buck Rogers. I bawled like a little kid.
Weirdo. I know, right? I am just so damn driven that getting my bronze medal is all I can think about. And it's not like earning it means I am done with Third Level and moving on to bigger and better things. All it means is that I can cross that goal off my list so that I can really focus on owning the directives at Third Level and getting better. Here's the video.
Our second test of the day, Test 3, is just hard. While I didn't make any real mistakes, I just don't know the test well enough to ride it with confidence. Not like that's the only reason we didn't earn a 60%. Did I mention that it's hard? My goal between now and our next show in December is to know that test backwards and forwards. The better I know a test, the more effective I can be in riding it.
Our score for 3-1 was 58.375%, just 6.5 points shy of a 60%. Our entry and halt, one of the places we can easily score a 7.0, was not up to par. We earned a 5.5 for which I have no explanation. That was at least a 1.5 loss. Our trot half pass left was weird - we earned a 4.0. That score carries a double coefficient so we lost another 4 points. That's 5.5 of the the 6.5 points we needed for a 60%.
Could I have picked up another point along the way? Absolutely. Like I said, knowing the test a little better and not riding it while second guessing myself would really help improve my score.
It wasn't a great test, but it wasn't a disaster either. We just have to keep working at it. Here's the video for Saturday's Third Level Test 3 ride.
While earning 4 scores of 60% or better at a show is always my ultimate goal, Saturday's 60.405% meant that I earned my goal for the show. With it, I now have the first of the two scores that I need for a Bronze Medal. That score is also a qualifying score for next year's Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC). It also means Speedy has the fourth score of 6 towards his CDS Horse Performance Award.
At the end of a show day, I always like to formulate a new plan for Sunday. What can I do better? What needs to change? What went well? As hard as it is to let everyone watch me "school" my horse, I knew I needed to get Speedy in front of my leg and sharper to my aids. That meant I was going to have to annoy the heck out him and expect him to "show up."
Sunday's rides tomorrow ...
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%: