From Endurance to Dressage
I rarely click "share" when I see my Facebook memories. I enjoy that feature of Facebook, but most of the time I simply smile or elbow my husband as I say, "remember this?" But yesterday, I must have been feeling a bit nostalgic as I shared this memory.
I totally dug endurance riding; every race was an adventure. Endurance races weren't just about the miles though. It was setting up camp, the group conversation while vetting in, the Friday night rider meeting, the mass of horses at the start, and of course rehashing ever step of the trail during the awards dinner. We were immersed in the race from Friday morning all the way until we unloaded our horses at home on Sunday evening.
It wasn't all great though which is why I segued into something else, dressage as it so happens. I thought I would be a lifer, someone who never leaves the sport, but I wasn't. A great friend of mine has been competing for decades and has no plans on quitting. She's got my respect for sure.
While I have fond memories of trotting down the trail, I don't miss it. Dressage shows have filled the gap nicely. I still get to camp with my horse, and while it's not basecamp, the little niche we set up in front of our stalls - supplied with a cooler, chairs, and tables, creates an intimate space for visiting with friends. We still have great conversations, but instead of rehashing every mile of the trail, we dissect every movement and score earned.
I traded one detail-oriented sport for another. While dressage will leave you cleaner at the end of the day, it still takes a deep commitment, planning, and good old-fashioned grit. It was a good trade.
Anna Marie Erickson
4/11/2019 07:06:07 pm
I'm at this point. I'm staring at another endurance season and I'm...Just not feeling it. Which is tough. our National championship will be in our State next year (2020) so I'm promising myself I'll stick it out and get (hopefully) 2 fit horses ready for me to ride one of them in that. I really want a completion in that ride! Then I'm done and I'm going to be a low lever dressage person.
4/11/2019 07:26:16 pm
I feel you. You know, I didn't plan on quitting. We attempted a ridiculously hard ride, a 55 miler, where the winning time was 7:37. For California, that's a slow winning time. I pulled when I knew Speedy was just too tired to go on.
4/15/2019 06:38:56 am
It's a tough sport for sure. And thank you, Speedy really is a great horse. :0)
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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%: