From Endurance to Dressage
The good news is that I have another blue ribbon to add to my collection. The bad news is that … well, there really isn’t any bad news. I didn’t score a 60% for my first ride of the day, which was my goal, but I was still satisfied with the ride. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know my score and how we did. No secrets here: my first ride of the day earned me a so-so 57.679%. The judge’s comment on the back of the test completely and accurately sums up our experience, “A very attractive horse – help him learn to accept and stretch to the bit so you can improve balance and bending.”
I actually liked how I rode this test regardless of the less than stellar score. The thing that has been getting us each time on this particular test is the transition to trot as we come out of the left lead canter at E. During my warm up ride on Friday evening, I just couldn’t get anything even remotely acceptable which was completely my fault. I still feel as though pushing his haunches out is going to fix the problem when the real problem is that his rib cage is pressed against my inside leg because his haunches and nose are already out.
Still working on this ...
The judge gave us a 5 for our left lead canter, pointing out that he was counter flexed. Seriously? Even knowing that I need to get a bend, I still am having trouble getting his nose in. For the canter circle, she scored us a 5.5 with the note that we need balance and bend. Yes, yes, I know … The happy ending to that little story is that we did get a very satisfactory 6 for the canter to trot transition. Well, hallelujah. This was not based on luck; as we came out of that canter, I pushed with my outside leg and thought forward to trot. It must have helped.
I actually thought the stretchy trot wasn’t that bad, but the judge saw otherwise. We scored our typical 4.
From that point on, we did better by earning 6s and 7s except for the right lead canter, which earned a 5 with a comment that says something about being counter flexed and evasive. It’s pretty hard to read; if anyone can decipher what it says, PLEASE comment.
While the score doesn’t seem like one to be proud of, I was pleased with how the ride went especially since our Friday warm up was so bad. I felt like I was actually riding and addressing our issues. I worked really hard to not over-ride my horse. I didn’t feel stiff, and I felt like I was actually riding moment by moment. My rider position was the same as always, a 6, but I liked that I was having a conversation with Speedy as I rode the test. I wasn't hoping for a good ride; I was riding for a good ride. There's a big difference.
Here is the score sheet for training Level Test 2 … (Click to enlarge.)
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%