From Endurance to Dressage
El Sueno - Part 3
I had an hour between the two tests on Saturday. I walked Speedy back to his stall, pulled his bridle, but left him saddled. I hoped that he would rest a bit, snack a bit, and even drink a bit. In the meantime I zipped back to the show office in hopes that my Test 2 score would be posted so that I could fix anything obvious that the judge hadn’t liked. And even though I waited until the last possible second, the scores didn’t get posted. With the clock ticking, I figured that I had done my best anyway and would do the same for Test 3.
Speedy is not a big fan of two tests in a single day which drives me nuts as he has completed 50 endurance miles in a single day on more than one occasion. Seriously, Dude, how hard can 6 minutes of walk/trot/canter be? Apparently, it is quite demanding because Speedy reminds me of the fact each time I try to head to the warm up for a second time in a day.
If I’ve learned that my first warm up needs to be brief, I’ve also learned that warm up number two better just be a drive by. The warm up for Saturday was in Sunday’s Ring Two, which had a great alley around the court. That was our warm up – a lap around the outside of the court with a trot down the long side. And even that small amount of work earned a harrumph from the not-so-speedy pony.
Training Level Test 3 seems easier than Test 2 in several respects. It’s shorter, for one. Test 2 has 16 movements while Test 3 has a puny 13. Test 3 has no 20-meter trot circles or the long trot across the diagonal. Instead, there are the two one-loop trots from C to A which I find easier than the 20-meter trot circle. And yet, while the test feels easier, we tend to score lower.
While we had a very satisfactory score, 61.200%, we weren’t nearly as consistent as we were at Test 2. We earned a 5 for the stretchy trot (darn!), four 5.5s, and again no 4s. We had three 7s on the directives, another 7 for gaits, and even a 7.5 for our medium walk. The rest of the test was filled in with a few 6s and one 6.5.
And again, there are actually a few photos to prove that we really did ride! Watch for the raised right hand and the head tilt.
I agree that Training 3 feels easier than Training 2, but when I actually broke down the coefficient scores I found Training 3 to be harder. I wonder if that's where your scores are differing as well. When you get to First Level, test 2 is quite a bear. I swear that no turn is ever done in a "normal" spot. Everything is at I or R!
4/18/2013 11:08:45 am
Oh, great, but good to know if we ever make it there!:0) Test 3 wouldn't be where it is if the designers thought it was easier. I think it just feels easier since it is so much shorter. A friend once told me, "Daddy Loves eXotic Indian Girls." Maybe I'll actually get to use that info someday. :0)
4/20/2013 12:58:19 am
It's an easy one to remember! :0)
Lol at Speedy's distaste at having to perform *twice* in one day. Such a burden! Do you ever ride him twice a day at home? Might be worth doing on occasion. In fact, at Equine Affaire a few years ago I heard a clinician say "you work 8 hours a day for that horse, you have him work for you! saddle him up, take him out, let him stand, then take him out again!" I do this with Hemie about once a month so he isn't shocked or crabby when we do this at shows.
4/18/2013 11:12:35 am
Oh, I so agree! I tell both my boys that I work WAAAAAY harder than they do. When Speedy was still on the endurance trail, he knew what it meant to be "finished" at the trailer only to head back out for loop two or loop three.
4/18/2013 11:13:57 am
Silly boy! maybe I ought to do some 10 or 15 mile rides to remind him of what life could be like!
Have you started working with Shoulder-Fore with Speedy yet? I think most of the head issue (tilting, heavy in hands, open mouth) is due to straightness (followed by engagement) issues. Plus would help you during a test to rebalance speedy when he gets too much on his forehand (heavy).
4/18/2013 11:14:42 am
Not yet, Mia, but I'll mention it to my trainer!
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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%: