From Endurance to Dressage
After Sarah left, I did a little warm up, but then we were up for our final ride of the show (thank goodness). The ring steward and her pals had enjoyed my story about going off course at the walk, and their laughter invigorated me even more. I was ready for the test.
I worked hard to show more bend in the loops, but the judge still felt that we needed more "clear change of bend." And the stretchy trot gave us trouble again (we scored a 5). It comes at a really challenging point for us in this test, which was no doubt deliberately done by the test designers.
For Test 3, the stretchy trot comes at B rather than at A where you're already making a circle. When Speedy hits the long side, he is focused on trotting with forwardness and straightness. I need to start thinking about how to better prepare him for the turn at B while still allowing him to stretch forward and down.
It was a bit of a disappointment to earn a 5 on our second to the last movement of the show. We almost went without a 5. Sigh ... The only good thing about the 5 was that we followed it up with a lovely 8 for our final halt of the show. Not a bad way to end. Our final score was 64.000%
I can't be anything but ecstatic about our scores: 66.429%, 65.000%, 66.071%, and 64.000%. These scores would suggest that we are very close to demonstrating that "the horse is supple and moves freely forward in a clear and steady rhythm, accepting contact with the bit." This is the purpose of the Training Level Tests.
Even with good scores, I go back and forth from being paralyzed with fear - What if I just got really lucky and go back to "normal" for our next show? to being more realistic. Our scores have done nothing but rise steadily all year. These scores are definitely a reflection of what we've learned over the past year.
So now I just have the RAAC next weekend to worry about. We'll be back at El Sueno, but it's going to be a much bigger show, more than 75 horses have already been entered, with more pressure to to do well. I am going to work really hard to keep in mind what I learned during Friday's warm-up: ask and encourage rather than nag and force.
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%: