From Endurance to Dressage
If we're friends on Facebook, you'll have already seen and read most of today's post. For everyone else, this will be new. Over the New Year's weekend, my husband and I flew to northern California to visit with my dad and step mom. First of all, air travel between Kern County and Humboldt County isn't an easy endeavor.
Planes don't fly from Bakersfield to Eureka, the city in Humboldt County large enough to support an airport. To get from Bakersfield to Phillipsville, we have to drive two hours south to an airport in Burbank while my parents drive north a little more than hour to the airport in Arcata. In all, it's about the same amount of time whether we fly or drive, but by doing the flying/driving combo, we spend a lot less time cooped up in a car and more time standing around. The flight itself is less than two hours.
Many of you have probably heard about the the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck the Rio Dell/Scotia/Ferndale area on December 20. Phillipsville, the small town where my parents live, is just 36 miles to the south. That quake rocked their house pretty good. Rio Dell is halfway between the airport and their house, so on the way home, we detoured to visit Ferndale, which was our original plan, and then we passed through the small towns of Rio Dell and Scotia to see how much damage there was. My dad was born in Scotia. Fortunately, we didn't see any wreckage, but we know more than a few people lost their homes.
On Saturday morning, while my husband and dad were down in the garage level of the house shooting pool and my stepmom and I were on the top level of the house, another earthquake struck. This time with a magnitude of 5.3. This earthquake's epicenter was just 9 miles southeast of Rio Dell. I've been through plenty of earthquakes; most Californians are pretty familiar with the sensation. This one felt pretty strong though since we were on the third floor of the house. My dad and husband didn't get quite the sense of movement that we did upstairs, but we all agreed that it was loud. Unfortunately, the people in Rio Dell had yet another mess to deal with.
Besides experiencing the earthquake, we spent several days visiting with my parents and enjoying the beauty of the area. Not many kids grow up with giant redwood trees in their actual back yard. Despite the persistent rain, my dad, husband, and I crammed into the mule and drove down to the redwood grove just below our house. I hadn't been inside the grove in two decades. I spent every summer day there because it was always at least 20 degrees cooler under the canopy than it was anywhere else. Of course, I always had a horse with me back then.
Besides hiking through the grove, we also watched my dad's goats, Casper and Figgy. Dad uses the goats to keep the brush under control. Goats will eat most anything, so my dad turns them out twice a day to graze on the brush that threatens to consume the property. Rusty, the dog, stands guard over the decorative foliage as well as keeping the chickens in check. Rusty also runs off the wild turkeys and does general guard dog duty as needed.
We always enjoy visiting with my parents, but we only see them about once a year as it is a full day of travel just getting there. When we drive, we get to see all of California's varied landscapes. For this trip, we flew from Los Angeles's city skyline and landed in northern California's temperate rainforest. Unless you already knew that both are part of California, you'd swear you had landed thousands of miles away.
It's good to be home, but I wish we all lived closer.
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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
(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%: