From Endurance to Dressage
Yesterday, I had tons of pictures. Today, I got nothing but words. Sorry about that. If someone just doesn't flat out volunteer to take pictures for me, I almost always forget to ask. The good news for you is that this should be a lot shorter than yesterday's post.
While Chemaine is an awesome trainer and coach, she's not my regular trainer so I feel a bit uncomfortable requesting coaching from her. She was there coaching several of her other students on Sunday, but conveniently, one of her riders had times right next to mine, so we were all warming up at the same time.
We tacked up together, but Chemaine's obligation is to her own students, so I tried to just keep an ear out for any useful nuggets I might catch in the wind. Occasionally I would hear Chemaine say something like bigger trot or good, pat him. I assumed these bits were aimed at her own students, but I borrowed them for myself anyway. I figured a bigger trot and a pat on the neck couldn't hurt our riding.
And then on the wind, I would hear my own name and know that the directions were for me specifically. I snatched each of those gems out of the air and put them to work for me. The one real piece of advice that Chemaine had given me before we tacked up was to wake Speedy up with a full on gallop. She meant the kind where the wind is whipping through your hair, and you can't hear anything above its roar.
I had never done a full on gallop in a warm-up ring before, and it was fun! Speedy woke up and got some serious sparkle about him. He enjoyed it as much as I did. The other thing I worked on was getting him to "hop" away from my inside spur so that we could get some inside bend. Both the gallop and the lateral work paid off.
I could not have asked for a better start to Training Level, Test 2. Look at the remarks for movement 2: showing bend and flexion. Yes!!!!!! Did I mention that this is the same judge that I rode for on Saturday? This is true improvement and not just a different set of eyes. Yesterday's scores went: 7.0, 6.0, 6.5, 6.5, 6.0, and 6.5. That's a three point increase.
The middle portion of the test also showed improvement. Yesterday's test went 5.0, 6.5 (lost some here), 6.0, 6.0, 6.0, and 6.0 which gave us another three point increase.
For the last four movements, we had 6.5, 5.5, 6.0, and 7.0 on Saturday. This gave us yet another three points over the day before!
Yesterday's Collective Marks were: 6.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.5, 6.0, and 6.0. We had ANOTHER three point increase. That means we earned 12 more points on this test from Saturday to Sunday.
Our final score was 183.5 points for a 65.536%. There were four in the class, but I was the only one who also rode on Saturday. We earned second place.
My Training Level Test 3 was also improved, but by only 7 points. Even so, I was delighted with the ride. The judge's Further Remarks kind of say it best, "Energy faded. Work on the stretch maintaing contact, bend, and flexion." That the energy faded meant we started with some and work on maintaining the rest means that we finally had some. I was thrilled to see these remarks!
My favorite parts of the test are these two:
We finished with a score of 63.800% which earned us another second place out of four.
Since I don't ride with a dressage trainer, it's at shows where I get to really see where we are, and what I need to do to improve. I feel like I walked away from this show with three months worth of lessons in my pocket. I have a CDS show in a week and a half. I am really hoping to apply what I learned at this show.
And of course, the RAAC is only a month away. I am feeling pretty good about where we are and where we're heading.
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%