From Endurance to Dressage
Hubby and I at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
I feel a little dishonest. I forgot to mention that I have been posting my blog posts from my hotel room in Monterey. After coming home from the show in Santa Barbara, I spent a few days doing laundry and riding Sydney. Then on Thursday morning, Hubby and I loaded the truck and headed back to the coast, but this time we trekked north. If you're not from California, you won't find Monterey on the map that I've included below, but you can see Monterey Bay quite easily. It is the large bay just south of San Francisco. We're actually just west of the city of Salinas.
Which brings me to the purpose of this blog post ...
For all of the non-California readers, I thought I'd share a little of California's diverse geography with you. Since it's so large, California often feels like it's own little country. Click here for a zoomable map of our mountains and topography.
We have two major mountain ranges, one end of which I just crossed over. The elevation of the Tejon pass is 4,000 feet (1,219 m). The eastern mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada, get a lot of snow, some of which I saw last weekend. I live in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. In order to get to the coast, you have to cross the Coast Ranges which are due west, or from the southernmost tip of the valley, you can cross through a trifecta of ranges: the Sierra Nevada, the Coast Ranges, and the Transverse Ranges. These three mountain ranges form the bottom edge of our central valley.
As I was coming home on Sunday, I took a moment to be amazed by California's varied geography. I started my drive alongside the Pacific Ocean and marveled at its brilliant blueness. From there, I crossed a monster mountain range topped with snow while being accompanied by winds strong enough to warrant an advisory. And once on the other side, I began the descent into the central valley where brilliant orange poppies pointed the way home; and all of this in just 150 miles. Had I gone another hundred miles, I would have been met with shades of crimson at Redrock Canyon as I entered the Mojave Desert.
And here I am again on the coast marveling at the vast blueness of the Pacific Ocean. What a lovely state is California!
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%