From Endurance to Dressage
As a fifth grade teacher, I am required by law to teach 100 minutes of P.E. each week. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we play a game. This week it's been Quarter Football - it's football without a ball! On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we run and exercise.
During yesterday's exercises, I was explaining, like I always do, why we need to be fit. And then because I couldn't help it, I showed the kids how each exercise helps me be a better rider.
Almost every exercise we do focuses on core strength and balance. Front and back flamingos are a perfect example. In the flamingo, you hold one leg up while trying to stand perfectly still as you count to ten.
One of their favorite exercises is standing on a tight rope. In this balance exercise, you place one foot directly in front of the other, bend your knees slightly, stretch your arms out for balance, and close your eyes. Then we count to ten. It is is MUCH harder than you'd think!
The butterfly stretch is a favorite of mine, especially if I've just had a hard rider or maybe done some bareback work.
The list of exercises varies from day to day; I let the kids pick. We also do curl-ups, planks, cherry pickers, trunk lifts (think of a seal raising it's neck), and a variety of arm stretches. I lead the exercises from the front, and do each one with the kids.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorite P.E. days, but the kids prefer game day. If they all had ponies at home, think how much more fun P.E. would be. There would be no end to the riding exercises we could do!
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%: