From Endurance to Dressage
It's an ongoing saga, but Speedy is currently lame. Again. This time it's his left hind. There was never anything to indicate trauma - no abrasion, swelling, or parts that were tender to the touch. He just came out of his stall three-legged lame. The good thing is that he gets better the more he walks around on it. I am sure he was goofing off during turnout and wrenched something. In the meantime, Speedy still has work to do, and he's doing a bang up job of it.
This past December, my trainer recommended that I bring Speedy up to the arena when I ride Izzy to help Izzy build some confidence. That has worked like a charm. Almost immediately, much of Izzy's tension dissipated, and I started to get some work done.
My routine is to get Speedy out first and bring him over to the trailer where I tack up. Then I go get Izzy. This has worked out well on a number of levels. First, Speedy feels as though his me first ego has been stroked and second, Izzy is comforted knowing Speedy is waiting for him.
I've decided that it's time Izzy start dealing with some pressure, so instead of tying Speedy alongside Izzy, I now toss the rope over his back and let him wander and graze. The bottom half of the ranch, where the horses live, is fully fenced. While the front driveway isn't locked, it's quite a hike and would mean leaving all of the other horses behind. Speedy has no intention of leaving.
Speedy is a pro at his job. He wanders away slowly, and then suddenly he's back. Right now, the winter grass is plentiful and it's growing everywhere. This means he'll graze along the hay stack, behind the trailer, out on the lawn, and then down to where the rest of the horses live. It's made Izzy anxious, but he's learning to cope with the separation.
When I am ready to head up to the arena, Izzy and I walk together to round Speedy up who then tags along quite happily. For the past two days, I've changed up the routine even more. Instead of tying Speedy inside the arena, I now tie him outside where the grass is deep. He grazes along the fence, and Izzy is able to work without fussing. My goal is to get Speedy into a nearby grass pasture that is still very much in sight.
Once I am done with my ride and we're headed back to untack, I once again toss Speedy's rope over his back and send him on his way. Izzy's not a fan of the situation, but he's done a great job of containing himself. Once Izzy is free of tack, we usually find Speedy and graze in his vicinity for a few minutes. This makes Izzy very, very happy.
It might not be the job I want for Speedy, but a job's a job and everyone's gotta have one.
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%