From Endurance to Dressage
My ride times were quite early on Saturday morning, 8:08 ad 8:46. I was a tiny bit worried that the coolness of the day might give Speedy too much energy, but I shouldn’t have worried. Like always, I checked on him as the sky was just turning gray. He’s always eager to see me on show mornings and very eager to get out of his stall. I hand walked him out into the derby field and put him on the lunge line. In no time, he was prancing around me with his nostrils flared and his tail flagged over his back.
Once he had the big moves out of him, I spent a solid twenty minutes walking around the derby field. By the time we’d made two large laps, he was more forward and less up and down. I tucked him back into his stall and fed him breakfast. I carted my tack down to his stall and changed into my show clothes. By 7:30, he was tacked up and ready to go.
I walked down to the warm-up ring eager to see if he was as relaxed as the night before. As we walked along the edge of the ring, I asked him to move his shoulders into the track and then back out onto the track. Chemaine, the trainer in Somis, had shown me this exercise as a way to supple his neck and shoulders. It definitely helps! I urged Speedy into a relaxed trot and knew that he was going to be good for me. I did a few changes of direction and then picked up the canter both ways. Our warm up lasted less than 15 minutes. He was ready.
When we entered at A for Training Level Test 2, I knew that it was going to be a good ride. Nothing was perfect of course, but as I rode, I kept thinking about how light and responsive he was being. Throughout the test, I kept putting a big smile on my face. It probably looked like a grimace to the spectators, but Christian Schacht, the clinician I’ve worked with twice this year, insists that if we smile, we will relax. So I smiled. A lot!
When we trot down the centerline for our final halt and salute, I knew we had ridden the best test we’d ever done. I didn’t know how the judge would see it, but I knew it was good. As I turned to leave the dressage court, I took a bit of a ragged breath and started to get a bit teary eyed with relief. I was so grateful to have reconnected with Speedy G. I stroked his neck all the way back to the barn and told him over and over how very proud of him I was.
Our score? A whopping 66.429%! And this wasn’t a schooling show either, but a CDS/USDF/USEF rated show. I am beyond happy! The score sheet is down below of course, but the best thing about it is that we scored nothing lower than a 6, which means I finally earned my goal of a ride with no 5s. And to make it even better, out of the 16 scores given for the directives, we earned 7s on nine of them!
I am one happy girl. First Level is getting closer and closer!
Coming tomorrow - the second test ...
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%: