From Endurance to Dressage
Unlike last weekend's trail adventure, this trip actually involved two horses!
A friend held her annual trail ride and potluck yesterday. I don't make it every year, but it's a lot of fun when I do. She and her husband have a small Arabian and Borzoi farm about thirty-five minutes out of town. Their place is nestled amongst large orange groves, so it's far from any traffic, buildings, or other man-made structures.
Austen's owner is back in the saddle, so I asked her to come along with me. He and Speedy were best friends from the second she walked him over from her place next door. The horses know each other by sight, but they've never been ridden together. You wouldn't have known it though.
They both trailered like total champs, stood at the trailer companionably, and happily snoozed together on the ride home. They spent the entire day nuzzling each other's necks and pairing up to lead most of the ride side by side. Austen may be huge, but Speedy's got a long enough stride to easily keep up with him.
Our trail boss picked a very easy route that consisted of wide dirt roads that ran through the orange groves. All of the horses were extremely well behaved, and all the riders made it back for lunch without a single hiccup. If you've ever ridden in a large group, you know that at least something goes wrong, and it did, but not until we were enjoying lunch.
I was really tempted to take Izzy instead of Speedy G, but I didn't want to be the ONE rider who screwed up everyone else's day. Hopefully Izzy can go next year.
I already mentioned that our hostess has an Arabian and Borzoi farm. She owns, breeds, and shows Borzoi's which are a very elegant and glamorous breed of dog. I grabbed this recent photo from her Facebook wall, but I don't think she'll mind.
For this particular trail ride, lunch at Summer Lane Farm is done potluck style. Everyone chips in and helps set up the various casseroles and other goodies. It's very much a serve yourself kind of meal. I loaded my plate up with pasta and salads and shredded beef.
As we were eating outside, I sampled one of the salads and thought it was surprisingly bland and had a weird mix of ingredients. Part way through lunch, our hostess's husband gave an embarrassed chuckle and said he needed to apologize to us because the salad we were eating was actually dog food!
Rather than being grossed out, we all burst into uproarious laughter! Their show dogs eat a shredded chicken, white rice, and green bean menu. Whoever had helped empty the refrigerator had grabbed the plastic-wrapped bowl thinking it was a chicken salad! The reason it had tasted so bland was because it hadn't been seasoned.
The weird chicken salad capped off our day nicely. The whole experience was a welcome respite from the daily grind, and I'm already looking forward to the next one. Thanks, Summer Lane Farm!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%