From Endurance to Dressage
El Sueno - Part 5
We're cabin bound tonight so you won't hear from me again until Monday, which is probably a good thing as I have been a bit long-winded this week. I am nearly done; I swear. When I first start writing about a show, I get all excited and have a ton to say. By the time I get to the third test, I begin to get bored and don't really care anymore. By the fourth test, of which this is, I really don't care, especially since there was no grand finale. I am just trying, by this time, to get the thing written so I can move on to a new topic.
Since this test was ridden at the show's end, my photographer was busy so you don't even get pictures. Here are the tests. Some explanation follows ...
This test was judged by a different judge. Even so, the scores were consistent. I am not surprised that we scored a little lower as I was mentally tired, as usual. I need to find a way to keep my enthusiasm up for the duration of the show.
Not as an excuse, and I am not complaining, but simply as an explanation: I load the trailer alone. I drive alone, I unload everything alone, I camp alone, I warm up alone, and I ride alone. I reload everything alone and then drive home alone. It is tiring to do so much work with no help. I didn't pull into my barn until nearly 6:00 p.m on Sunday evening. Once there, I unloaded everything alone and then drove home where I still had to unload all of my personal stuff.
I don't mind the aloneness; I am a confident person and find it easy to meet new people. The drawback to being alone is that it can wear you out with all of the work. So ... by the time the fourth test rolls around, my enthusiasm is usually waning, and I am definitely not as sharp as I am for the first few tests. Speedy is a very smart boy and naturally picks up on my mood; he's not tired for the last test, but he gets bored easily. Throw in my fatigue, and you've got a less than sparkly performance.
If you looked the test over, you saw we had more 5.5s than earlier in the day, 4 of them to be exact, but the 7s still made an appearance. We had three of those with the added bonus of a 7.5. There were still plenty of 6s and even one 6.5 to carry the score above 60%. And while I am delighted with four tests of over 60%, a first for me, I can see that the way to really raise my scores is to eliminate the 5s.
And of course, it must be noted that the off course error is just a stupid way to give points away. Sheesh. I know that test backwards and forwards. I just lost focus for a moment and paid the penalty. That's what being tired does. I clearly need a ground crew!
So that's it. Well almost. If I have the energy, I want to write one more post about a few things that I learned - some about riding and some of the more nuts and bolts variety. Until then, thanks for letting me share!
Honestly, I think that test looks like it settles in nicely with the others. Some silly errors, but clearly you guys are working consistently - even when exhausted. That's pretty awesome, and hard to do!
4/20/2013 12:27:35 am
I wasn't horribly disappointed by the test, and yes, it was similarly scored as the other three, but I know it can be better. I really need to find a way to stay excited all the way through to the end. I've started having a Coke in the afternoons hoping that will give me a bit of a boost (I never drink soda). It has helped a little, but I need something more.
4/20/2013 12:28:30 am
That's it exactly, Lauren!
4/19/2013 12:52:17 am
Enjoy your time at the cabin!
4/20/2013 12:28:59 am
We slept until 7:00 - what a treat!
I think I have told you before I so admire how you show alone! I really don't believe I could do it! I was show mom for years and now my husband and daughter help me :)
4/20/2013 12:30:08 am
Thanks, Kelly. It's go alone or don't go at all. I make it work, but it's tiring. And thank you!
Quite an excellent test for being tired, and great confirmation coming from another judge. Interesting how the judge pointed out that you need to ask the horse for more - ties in to when you watched Hilda and the other top riders at the last show: you watched them really actively riding and this judge is basically saying you need to do that too. =)
4/20/2013 12:33:29 am
Yes ... I guess the trick is finding out how much "more" I can ask without him becoming fussy; he doesn't like to be "picked at." If I knew how to do everything correctly, we'd be riding at a higher level. So, I take her comments, try to apply them, and if they work, we improve. There is just *so much* to learn!
I think it's awesome that you are able to show on your own. I, personally, love showing with a group of like minded, fun people. Does your trainer have any other dressage-minded riders who might like to hitch-hike a ride and help out with gas costs, show prep etc?
4/20/2013 12:36:57 am
I am it, Stephanie. There are a handful of other dressage riders in town, but none live close to me. The two ladies that I rode against (Amy and Sue), are both from Bakersfield, but camping and traveling with them isn't practical.
4/19/2013 10:22:15 pm
Wow! Four tests is a lot! I have never entered more than two with Harley, although in college I used to compete two horses, so sometimes I rode four tests, two per horse, BUT I had a lot of help. I usually only had to tack up and warm up one horse, then just pop on the other one for the test. Those were the days!
4/20/2013 12:42:47 am
We only did two tests each day. It was a two-day show so I ride twice each day. USEF/USDF rules say you can actually ride three tests a day on the same horse. I don't think Speedy would even enter the ring for a third test!
4/20/2013 12:56:32 am
It can get tiring, can't it? It's still fun though. I love meeting riders like us: the do-it-yourselfers. We generally have a lot in common and since we're alone, it's easy to find a few minutes to sit and chat. Showing in California anytime soon? :0)
4/25/2013 11:17:42 am
...but someplace I'd like to see!
Comments are closed.
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%: