From Endurance to Dressage
With things trying to quiet down around here, I am finally able to get to a few smaller things that have been going on around the ranch. A month or so ago, a crew of tree trimmers arrived to do some serious pruning of the ranch's massive forest of sycamores and cottonwoods.
The crew was here at a good time. The weather was less than ideal for riding, and Speedy was on the disabled list anyway. In fact, I had to take him to the vet to get his sutures out on one of their work days. If you can't ride, it's always best for it to happen in the dead of winter while the trees are getting cleaned up.
While it was more than annoying to have them working - their equipment rattled my teeth, there turned out to be a most unexpected bonus. After they thinned out the wayward branches, they dumped it all into a wood chipper rather than haul it off. As the mountains of wood chips began to pile up, I quickly asked the ranch owners if I could use some of it for dust control.
Not only was I given a resounding YES, but I was encouraged to take some home with me. And once I really stopped to look around, I realized there were dozens and dozens of wood chip mountains for me to use. The first thing I asked was if Reggie (the handyman) could lay down a layer of the wood chips around the tack room and the small trailer where I tack up.
When I saw how well that worked, I got bold and asked if we could pour some tractor loads of it into Speedy's paddock. With all of the whirling and pacing that he does, he stirs up a fine powder that fouls up his water trough and hangs in our summer time heat. That request was also met with a positive response.
Even though Reggie has been slowly using up the piles as mulch in the expansive yard at the ranch, there are still plenty of piles for me to use in Speedy's paddock keep the dust down. And as my boys grind the wood chips down, I'll even be able to replenish what we've already poured around the tack room.
So far, no one has shown an inclination to eat the stuff, so I feel quite confident about using it to control our dust. I am already eyeballing a few more places where a dust-free zone would be appreciated.
I love free stuff, especially when it does double duty!
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%: