From Endurance to Dressage
The good news is that we had a very pleasant and relaxed first test. The bad news is that I don't have any drama llama moments to share with you so this post might get a tad boring. As such, I am keeping it super short and sweet.
Chemaine met me at the warm-up and helped me get Speedy focused and stretching. I will say that with her help, I've learned that Speedy actually needs a longer warm-up than I've been giving him. Normally I ride for 15 - 20 minutes. Chemaine had me walk for 10 minutes working on flexions to the right and left before we even started our trot work. This definitely helped Speedy loosen up through his back. I think 30 minutes is going to be Speedy's best warm-up time: 10 minutes of walking followed by 20 minutes of other exercises.
The test went well, we scored a 64.464% which was good enough for 2nd place out of five riders. Again, we had no 5s on the test, which has become my personal indicator of whether or not we're ready for First Level. We also had a collection of 7s and even a 7.5.
Peggy Klump, a former CDS president, was the judge, and I know she is well respected for being fair and consistent. I rode in a clinic with her in 2011 and loved the experience. She's also judged me a time or two in the past, and I've found her comments to be helpful and accurate.
Chemaine and I studied Peggy Klump's further remarks quite closely and worked hard all weekend to address the weaknesses. Peggy wrote, "Smooth? test that needs polish w/clear bend & balance, keeping poll highest point. Develop rounder frame, prepare more for transitions w/poll ⬆ & this talented pair shows potential for brilliant performance."
I think we're nearly finished with Training Level Test 2. We're starting to show some real consistency in the test. I am guessing that by some time next year we can either use this test simply as a warm-up, or leave it behind all together. My score sheet is posted below. More drama 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%: