From Endurance to Dressage
This is a continuing series of photos that illustrates the differences between an endurance seat and a dressage seat.
This photo was taken at the Bear Valley Springs 50 miler. This is a very tough ride due to the lack of flat ground. The trail is historically all single track with climbs and descents. This particular photo was shot as we left the mid-morning vet check. It was a very steep climb. I like that my heels are down and my weight is off of Montoya's loins. I am leaning forward, maybe a bit too much. If you look carefully, you can see the give-away that she was pulling to do the climb faster: her running martingale is fully engaged.
Montoya was very headstrong and wanted to run every race balls out. A popular endurance expression, speed kills, is a very true statement. Most endurance riders know that each horse only has so many miles in them. Speed reduces the number of miles they can ultimately do. Endurance riders "ride a fine line" between fast and too fast. We always go as quickly as the terrain allows, knowing that a misstep at the trot or canter can mean a career ending injury. Our horses don't know this however, and frequently question the speed that we determine is safe. Another expression, never hurry, never tarry, illustrates the best way to finish a race.
We finished this particular ride 24th out of 45 with a ride time of 9 hours and 27 minutes.
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%: