From Endurance to Dressage
This is a continuing series of photos that illustrates the differences between an endurance seat and a dressage seat.
Again, not my favorite photo. If you've been following this series, you'll already know that Montoya and I argued quite frequently about how fast we should be going. For her longevity, I knew we had to go slower than she was capable of traveling. She rarely agreed with my assessment of the situation and wasn't shy about sharing her own opinion. She usually expressed her displeasure at having to go "slowly" by leaning on my hands, hard! At the end of most races, I was exhausted, and my hands would be cramped and sore.
Over the years, we struggled with this issue. If the race was technical and the footing dicey, she was an awesome, dependable partner, and we worked in a better frame by being much lighter in the front end. At the desert races, she was a real bear to ride. When the terrain was flat and she could see for miles, she didn't understand the reason for the moderate pace. I could feel the desire to RUN throbbing through her body, there's where we need to be, let me GO!
In this photo she is plowing through my hands while I am doing my best to stay in the saddle. And as you can see, I am not strong enough so she has pulled me way too far forward. I have managed to keep my feet more or less where they belong, but my upper body is certainly having problems. Today, I would use the "sit on the pull" idea and lean back so that my core was engaged rather than trying to hold her back with just my puny arms. Truthfully, she was so forward that it probably wouldn't have helped anyway. I just might have had a nice six-pack instead of the little flab that most of us pack around.
We finished the 100 miles in 32nd place out of 63 starters. Interestingly, only 35 riders completed the course. We finished with a ride time of 20 hours and 53 minutes. The winner? 11 hours and 41 minutes ... wow!
It's hard to believe this was almost exactly 11 years ago (February of 2002). Where has the time gone?
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%: