From Endurance to Dressage
I came home from the barn on Saturday with the stupidest grin on my face. When I tried to tell my husband how good Izzy had been, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Speedy did the same thing."
Um ... what?!?!
No, I told him, Izzy was AWESOME.
Again, he shrugged his shoulders and said it was no big deal since that's what happens when a horse gets TRAINED.
Palm to face. How could he not see the miracle that was occurring right before him?
He was right, of course. This didn't happen in just one day. This is one year of work later. A whole, very long year later. It just feels like a sudden miracle.
I had some big AHA moments when I rode in the Christian Schacht clinic last week. That dude is a genius. In reality, it is Chemaine Hurtado, my regular trainer, who should get the credit. She's the one that's been slogging along with me this past year. Christian just helped me pull some things together at the right moment.
So what's going so great all of a sudden? Well, now that I know how much inside leg I need to use to get Izzy soft on the outside right rein, most of his shenanigans seem to have stopped. But again, even those have been disappearing slowly.
Since last fall, Izzy has tried to dissuade me from working by being a bit of a jerk for the first half of our rides. He went through several phases of refusal: balking, running sideways, kicking out at my leg, rearing, and flinging his head around wildly. Those things are now mostly gone.
On Saturday, I worked the inside leg to outside rein until he softened and engaged his hind end. Once we got the feel I was looking for, I asked for a left lead canter. He gave it immediately, and while it wasn't a perfect canter departure, it wasn't explosive. When I asked for the right lead canter, he offered that one as well.
I was able to canter all over my arena. We did squares, straight lines, 15-meter circles, and even some mini-lengthenings. As I was finishing up with the right lead, I looked at Izzy's ears in complete shock - they were floppy. This is the first time that he has cantered with floppy ears.
I feel as though we've summited a huge mountain and are now admiring the view from the top. It's a beautiful view from where I am standing, and I can't wait to get down to the other side!
5/31/2016 09:29:47 am
They're coming more and more frequently now. :0)
5/31/2016 08:04:25 am
I need to see, can someone please help me see the view from the top?!? Until then, the relaxed cross ties photo is excellent. He's like "What" - and apparently it's warm enough there to spray a horse with water where he stands. Braves Pferd!
5/31/2016 09:28:58 am
Warm enough? It's nearly warm enough to hose off all year. It's going to be 108 this week. :0)
6/2/2016 05:39:17 am
I feel your exact frustrations, Teresa, I really do. Izzy has just turned a corner (he just turned 8 which might have a lot to do with it). He's still not an easy ride, and we still struggle, but things are getting better and better. Keep working with Carmen. As she matures and learns, things will continue to get better. :0)
6/3/2016 07:07:38 am
It seems silly to get excited over floppy ears, but what can I say? :0)
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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
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: