From Endurance to Dressage
Showing is definitely getting to be old hat with Speedy. That dude simply loves to show. He enjoys the attention, he thinks everyone is a fan, and he loves having me all to himself for 48 straight hours. There's nothing about showing Speedy that makes me tense or nervous. Maybe that's why this weekend was so much fun.
While I might not be tense or anxious, I want to perform well, so I do put a certain amount of pressure on myself. While my number one goal was to score at least one 60% to finish qualifying for Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC), I certainly expected to do more. At this stage in the game, if I can't easily score a 60% at Training Level, something is seriously wrong.
In case you're on pins and needles, I did score over 60% on all four tests. Getting a qualifying score on my first test eliminated any last bit of tension that I might have been toting around. Improving on that first score became my goal for the weekend.
So how did Training Level Test 2 go? It felt great, and in fact, a new acquaintance reported that her friend felt my test was error-free and flawless (aw, thanks, Dr. P!), but the judge disagreed.
I am not disagreeing with any of the judge's comments:
I actually skipped several of the "lacks bend/flexion" remarks. Those were definitely our problem area throughout the show, but we did get better and better. I actually love these comments because they have totally changed over the last few seasons. When we first started out, we had oodles and oodles of needs steadier contact, hollow, and above the bit. We've fixed those issues!
While I rode this test better than I ever have, I still scored lower than what I expected. When I reviewed the scores from this ring, they all seemed low, but at least the judge was consistent in his scoring.
We really lost points in the stretchy trot (5.0), and our right lead canter (5.5), both of which have a double co-efficient. Our final score was a 61.250% which earned a second place finish out of a class of three. Had we scored a 6.0 in each of those movements, we would have won the class.
I looked my test over very closely before I rode Test 3. I also shared my test with my new pal, Cristina, who rode T2 - Opportunity. By comparing scores, we were able to see what things this judge really focused on. He was tough on the stretchy trot, and he wanted to see some more inside bend.
When I started my next warm up, I kept those things in mind. For Test 3, the judge's comments showed that I at least made changes, even if they weren't necessarily always for the better.
I was pretty happy with the test though. I had a few lapses in focus, so I knew the score wouldn't be better. I liked how I rode it though. In the past, this test rode in fast forward and each movement took me by surprise. Now, I feel like I am in control of our pace, and I have some steering.
This is a slightly more difficult test than Test 2, so it's hard to compare the two. We earned a 61.000% which was another second place, but this time out of a class of two. And for this class, there was a bigger gap in points.
While this was a USDF show, it was really hot so coats were optional. For the afternoon test, I opted out of the coat!
Sunday's tests 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%: