From Endurance to Dressage
While I rarely write about them, I do have friends, and to no one's surprise, they all have horses. I am not sure if I even have any non-horsey friends. If they don't have horses right this minute, they used to or they want to.
Three of my friends are particularly special because they're badasses. There is nothing that I admire more than powerful women. It's an idea that I regularly try to instill in the young ladies in my classroom. Powerful girls and women aren't victims, they know how to say NO, they know how to say YES, and they aren't intimidated by men, adversity, or challenges.
Too many women behave as though it's unladylike to have an iron core. I think the opposite is true. Wonder Woman is the sexiest thing out there, and frankly, I think our gender could use a few more badass women.
My first badass friend is CK-P. We met at a clinic a number of years ago. I can't remember the details, but I think she recognized my name because of my blog. A friend of hers, more on that in a minute, was a blogger and possibly shared something I had written. However it worked out, CK-P and I hit it off and have been friends ever since.
As you can see, CK-P is in law enforcement. If you ever meet her in person, packing a pistol and a badge would be the last thing you would expect of her. She loves pink, lipstick, and high fashion. She's gorgeous, glamorous, and has a smile that dazzles. I am not sure if it's part of her job description, but she also helps rescue stray dogs that she finds on her route.
Her husband is in the military and is frequently deployed. Their dog, Nitro, is a retired bomb sniffing soldier. And as if all that isn't enough to make her a badass, she's also a kick-ass eventer and USDF Bronze Medalist. Word to the wise, she's located in Southern California, so watch your step. I adore her and am glad to call her friend.
My second badass friend is WM. She exudes badassery from every pore. This lady has no fear, whether it's in the saddle or not. She works on a military base although I don't think I am at liberty to say which one. She speaks to Generals on a daily basis, and thinks nothing of it. Besides being an amazing horsewoman, she literally dragged herself into a top level job on the base by sheer grit and determination. She digs deep, gets the job done, and has the commas in her bank account to prove it.
WM has two horses, both of them yellow. She's not just into barrels and gymkhanas though, she also takes dressage lessons and has a show history. We've done some great trail rides together and have something planned in late April. This lady is just so much fun to be around, and I am grateful to call her friend.
I've actually known SBB longer than W or C, but we've yet to meet in person. She and I met over the blogosphere like so many other horse friends have done. I started following her blog posts back when she still lived in California. She ultimately moved to another state, but not before sending one of her horses to live with CK-P. I don't know anything about their friendship or how the horse thing happened, but I met CK-P because of her friendship with SBB. It is a really small world!
What makes SBB such a badass is her decision to get fit. I am sure she felt like so many of us - I am carrying too much weight, I need to start taking better care of myself, I need more exercise. The difference is, she actually did it. She gets on her treadmill every day and cranks out mile after mile. I don't know if she was a runner at an earlier stage in her life, but she is now. Just a few weeks ago she decided to run a half marathon. Um, I don't know about you, but running an occasional 5K and a one-time Morro Bay 6-miler from the rock to the pier were my claim to running fame. A half marathon is a long freaking way.
SBB's goal is to run two marathons this year. Two. Not just one, but TWO. When I start feeling lazy or bad about the way I look, SBB motivates me to get up, hop on my own treadmill for a few minutes, or at least jog from one chore to the next while I am at the ranch. And in case you're wondering, she also works full time, takes care of horse property, and runs her own Etsy shop, ORHomesteadCrafts. I am in awe of this lady and can't wait to someday meet her in person.
I have other amazing friends - Jen, who took her horse Paolo from birth to the FEI level where she earned her USDF Silver Medal. Chemaine Hurtado, who is one of very few riders in the country who hold all three USDF medals as well as all three Freestyle Bars. Valerie, who owns a pony that she couldn't find tack to fit, so she launched her own online shop, The Dressage Pony Store. There are more, many more.
I don't think I have a single wishy-washy, girlie-girl friend. I admire women who, excuse the expression, get shit done. As a result, those are the kind of people that fill my phone's contact list.
Thank you, ladies, for being such an inspiration to the rest of us!
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2022 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read