From Endurance to Dressage
You knew this was probably going to be a series of posts, right? There is no way I can find my joy in one day. Nope, this is going to be a month long endeavor, maybe more. And really, there's no reason we can't spend every day finding our joy.
This past Sunday, we were expecting rain all day, so I planned my weekend accordingly. Of course it didn't rain until later in the day, but once I decided not to ride, I stuck with my plan. With Christmas just around the corner, there was plenty to do. A few days ago, as I was listening to Christmas music on my way to or from work - I can't remember which, but it doesn't matter, I heard a lyric that really spoke to me. I can't remember what song it was, but the sentiment was something about this being the happiest time of the year.
That really got me thinking about what December should be about. No one cares right now if Izzy and I can get a left to right flying change. No one cares if the connection is solid. And sure as sugar no one gives a whoop if I am riding every day or not. I decided to focus on finding my joy by expressing gratitude and spreading some good cheer.
I spent most of Sunday buying and wrapping presents. I may or may not have gone a bit overboard. I bought six presents for the lady at work for whom I am a Secret Santa. I don't know her, nor do I even know what she looks like. Do I care? Nope, I bought every single thing on her list. Those gifts are all wrapped and piled prettily in my classroom awaiting the designated hand out days.
The best part of Sunday though was helping the ranch's handyman apply for his California Real ID. Reggie is a great guy. If he even thinks I need help with something, he's trying to do it before I can ask. He gives Speedy his Prascend Monday through Friday, but if Reggie thinks I am late, he'll give it to Speedy on the weekends and then text me so that I don't go out unnecessarily. Sometimes I show up, and he's put fresh wood chips in my tacking up space so I don't have to work in the mud or dust. Sometimes he brings me fresh fruits or vegetables or even tamales from a local shop.
So when he mentioned that he was trying to get a replacement social security card so that he could get a Real ID so that he could fly to Mexico in January to visit family, I stopped in my tracks and asked a few questions. Reggie's English is pretty limited, but I speak Spanish (mostly) fluently. Reggie and I long ago worked out a good system for communication. I don't always understand everything he says, and occasionally he has to find ten different way to explain himself, but we eventually laugh our way through our language limitations.
Getting a Real ID, especially here in California, involves hopping through a bunch of hoops. The easiest way to get the job done is by doing most of it online. Reggie is a little older than I am, and like a lot of people of my generation, he doesn't really do technology, so we had a few extra hurdles.
On Sunday morning, I gave him a call so we could complete the application from my computer. The first hurdle we had to jump was getting him an email address. Once we were in person again, and I was holding his phone, I realized he already had a gmail account, he just didn't know it. Next, we had to create an online account with the DMV. Somewhere during that step, I realized we needed to be in person as Reggie doesn't know how to text photos, and we had quite a few documents to upload. I eventually just drove out to the ranch.
When I pulled in, Reggie was waiting with all of his documents neatly stored in clearly labeled files. We set up an office on my tailgate and got down to business. The whole process took several hours, but most of the delay was on my end. I speak Spanish a lot better than you would think, but I am lacking the vocabulary for technical things like insurance forms, tax returns, and other legal documents. Eventually, we got everything filled out and uploaded, andI was even able to help Reggie make an appointment at the DMV. How anything related to the DMV can bring someone joy is a mystery, but helping Reggie brought me even more joy than the shopping did.
I am slowly finding my joy. How about you?
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%: