From Endurance to Dressage
This is a continuing series of photos (albeit not a regular one) that illustrates the differences between an endurance seat and a dressage seat.
Sorry that it's a bit blurry, but scanning photos comes with limitations. In this photo, we are partway through a very cold 50 mile ride. You'll notice that Montoya is looking where we're going while I smile goofily at the photographer. And as usual, we are traveling on a loose rein. One thing I notice is that her stride in back is very short. This is probably because there was a pile-up (not literally) of horses in front of us, and Montoya had slowed her pace in anticipation of a burst of speed to pass them. I am sure she's calculating which direction would be her best bet to get around them.
A note about photographing an endurance ride: it's common in the Pacific Southwest for a photographer to station himself somewhere on the trail early in the morning. He'll typically place a sign 50 or so yards in front of where he'll be so that riders can adequately space themselves out as they pass his position. This can cause all sorts of chaos. The horses frequently don't see the photographer (Montoya didn't) which can cause some hilarious shots if they do notice at the last second. As the riders space themselves apart, the horse in the rear sometimes gets antsy waiting for his turn as his buddies all seemingly trot off without him. That rider usually gets a photo with a very alert horse!
We finished this 50 miles in 24th place out of 73 riders with a ride time of 7 hours and 6 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%: