From Endurance to Dressage
On Monday, I showed the effects of an El Niño storm on my little neck of the woods. I sensed some raised eyebrows and a bit of skepticism. An inch of rain? Phhhhttt.
I know. It doesn't seem like much when your normal is 20 - 30 inches of rain, but the effects here were of nearly biblical proportions. I started looking for Noah and his ark - I had my two horses ready at the front of the line.
The next morning, the sky was bright blue and most of the water was gone or hiding out in the deeper recessions. It was so "dry" in fact that my class was able to have its regular P.E. out in the field, mud free.
My stalls didn't fare so well. Both boys have mud that's nearly a foot deep. But you know Speedy, he hasn't stepped outside since it rained. He is the most fastidious horse I've ever owned. His regular poop spot is under water, so he carefully moved the restroom facility to the farthest corner of his dry spot and has kept the poop very neatly in that one small area.
Izzy doesn't enjoy the mud, but he isn't deterred by it either. He had mud splattered all over his legs and belly, and I think there was even some on his back.
I did ride the day after the storm, but I kept to the neighborhood loop. The arena's footing would have held up for a ride, but I didn't want to test it out. My barn owner turned her horse out though and he galloped around without issue. The footing was perfect for riding yesterday.
The day after the storm, that huge "puddle" that I had to drive through was gone. It was dark when I went home that night, so I didn't get a photo. Here's what it looked like coming home yesterday.
There is no more rain predicted for at least another week, so my stalls will have a little time to dry out. California is not out of the (drought) woods yet, so we need El Niño to make a few more visits. Hopefully he'll be back for more in February.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%