From Endurance to Dressage
Again, no real drama on Saturday, unless you count being just just a tad bit overconfident. Scoring a 64% on my first ride gave me a tiny bit of a swagger. It's not like that's a brilliant score or anything, but it is a mid-60ish ride, and I did earn a second place finish. I was feeling pretty satisfied. So much so that I let time get away from me.
I had an hour between tests which was too much time to keep riding, but not enough time to untack and let Speedy eat lunch. By the time I thought to really start warming up again, I had less than 10 minutes to ride and put my coat on. Dork ...
Training Level Test 3 is a bit tricky. But then I suppose most of the Test 3s are tricky, whatever the level. For me, it's the start of the test that really challenges me. The test starts out with the standard enter at "A," halt at "X," and track left at "C," but it goes immediately into a one loop from HXK which is then followed by a left lead canter between "A" and "F." From there, you make a 20 meter circle at B, but then you continue on to "C" where you begin to cross the diagonal with a trot transition at "X."
Those first four movements come at me in fast forward, especially when I've rushed the warm-up. There's a lot of bending, and Speedy and I are really working on getting it. Our score wasn't bad, 61.800%, and for the most part I am happy with a score over 60%, but I know we can ride the test better. Training Level Test 2 is beginning to feel relatively comfortable for us, and I know we're close with Test 3 as well.
Unfortunately, my old score buddy, 5, made an appearance (I hate that guy), and he brought his cousin, 5.5. We earned the 5 for the canter that follows the first loop. I know it's because I don't quite have control of the outside shoulder so the transition is rushed. Our judge, Peggy Klump, commented that it was "abrupt, hollow, prepare better." Um, yeah, I'd say so.
After those four movements, the test always improves. Even the next loop (6.5) and canter to the right (6.0) feel easier. And surprisingly, our stretchy trot earned a 6.0 even though there was "limited stretching." It was still improved however, so I am not going to quibble. Not to give away too much, but we really nailed all of the halts throughout the weekend: 7.5, 7.5, 7.0, and 8.0.
Saturday ended on a good note: we earned a second place finish on our first test with 64.464% and then closed out the day with a fifth place finish on the second test with 61.800%. It was a good day.
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%