From Endurance to Dressage
Finding Success in Failure - Part 1
On Friday, I was in a pretty low place, a place that is not good to be in for too long. The kind of place where you don't always come back from. I didn't want to go to the show, but like I mentioned on Friday, I dug deep and gave myself a huge kick in the butt. It wasn't worry about the show that had me so down, but rather life in general. I am happy to report that I came home on Sunday with joy in my heart and the feeling that it was all okay. I didn't realize how much I had needed a day off.
On Friday afternoon, Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage, gave us a schooling lesson at SCEC. Izzy wasn't perfect, but he relaxed quickly and seemed to find some confidence. On Saturday morning, the warm up ring was full of absolute craziness, and it wasn't Izzy who started it. The day before had been quite warm, but Saturday was downright chilly. The horses all went a little nuts which sent Izzy careening over the edge.
You'll see the videos of both our Saturday rides below. There is nothing good to see in them, but you know, I don't care. I felt like I won the day. Sean helped me change my goals, and that made all the difference. I have more to share on that in tomorrow's post, but suffice it say that I was really proud of myself. After you see my scores, you'll wonder what I've been drinking, because they are NOT scores to be happy about.
Rather than tell you what went wrong, you'll see that for yourself, I'd like to share what went right:
For First Level Test 1, we scored a 49.483% which was worse than we had done at our last show while showing at Second Level. It doesn't matter what level we drop down to. Until Izzy lets me make the decisions, our scores will be terrible no matter the level. Even so, he was easier to manage at First Level, and I think the drop down in level took some of the pressure away.
The second test of the day was even worse at 46.806%. I know at least some of you are asking why in the world I keep trying as Izzy obviously doesn't love this whole showing thing. I am sure some of you even think his failure to succeed is my fault. Surely I must be doing something wrong, probably many somethings. you may be right, but I don't think so and neither does my trainer.
As bad as the test went, I didn't feel disappointed or discouraged. I actually felt empowered and motivated. I am finally starting to believe my trainer when he says that I simply need to have confidence in the tools that I have. Rather than focus on the scores, I put all of my attention on applying what I've learned. It's difficult to feel like a failure when you ride well, and I think I handled Izzy's tension quite well.
Sunday's tests tomorrow ...
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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%: