From Endurance to Dressage
I didn't think I'd be writing those words this soon, or ever, frankly. Because really, if you're an adult amateur like me riding whatever you brought to this sport, or more likely riding whatever you can afford to ride, flying changes aren't easy.
But sometimes, if you're really lucky, you get a horse who wasn't purpose-bred for dressage who still really, really likes to show off. If you're that lucky, every once in a while, things can be incredibly fun.
Speedy's health, my health, and being an adult in general have kind of sucked the fun right out of life lately. I made it to the barn last Monday, but because of adult responsibilities, I wasn't able to get back out there until Friday. By that point, I was trying to talk myself into just wiping down a piece of tack or two and ditching the whole idea of riding. In fact, I even started with my boots. But then I looked over at Speedy, and I knew that he wanted to play.
I always set my chronograph on my watch, mostly so that I don't over-ride my boys. Speedy is happy to work for a an hour if it's during a lesson with Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, but if it's just me, I keep it to about a half an hour. I think this is even more important now that he's coming back into regular work. I wanted to keep the ride short and do only as much as he wanted to offer.
We started out with some suppling work, and then quickly touched on everything at Second Level and a few of the Third Level movements. Out of nowhere, Speedy broke into a balanced and collected canter. I asked for a few canter to walk to canter transitions which he had done smartly a few days before.
Speedy told me what was coming next. As we crossed the diagonal, he skipped once, skipped twice, and I giggled and told him to wait for it ... and then boom! We had the flying change. I laughed my head off, asked him to whoa, and praised the heck out of his effort. That boy has an enormous heart. And then because I knew he wanted to, we flipped around and did the exact same thing on the other lead.
Two asks, two flying lead changes. Those are fun flying changes!
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
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
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