From Endurance to Dressage
Brown horse is still brown. His winter black hasn't yet started to show through. But color isn't what makes a horse good though, is it?
What makes a horse good is genetics and time. Lots of time. Like years. Izzy has good genes; his sire line is quite respectable. He was sired by Inbegriff whose own sire was the Oldenburg stallion, Ideal.
Liberty Work presented by Michelle Ives-Purdy with the famous stallion IDEAL. When this video was made IDEAL was the number one Oldenburg Breeding Stallion in the World. This work was a testament to his temperament and her patience. By the way, Michelle is still teaching and training.
Izzy's dam was a Thoroughbred mare named Banjo Rose (born 1989). I don't know much about her other than what appears in her online pedigree. Her family tree looks like a road map of Europe with horses from Italy, Great Britain, France, and even a few from Canada for good measure. In Izzy's RPSI passport under Mutter/Dam/Mère she is listed as Hauptstutbuch, but I don't know if that puts her in the Oldenburg Registry NA's Premium Mare Book or Main Mare Book. If you're in the know, I would love to have that explained.
Izzy's genes are what they are. It's up to his people, that would be me, to invest the time. While it has taken me a very, very long time, he is finally turning into the horse I hoped he'd be. Every ride is now about dressage, not about turning him into a semi-respectable equine citizen. He goes in a legal dressage bit to which he mostly respects and gives. He occasionally forgets his manners, but he is easily persuaded to GET OVER IT.
For the past few months, I've been schooling the quality of the gaits. His back is now supple and he can stretch deep and round over his top line. I've created a bit of a monster though. For so long I worked on RELAXATION, and now that's all he wants to do. I am trying to put a bit of zip back in his stride. It takes a ton of leg to get his butt to move forward. It's a good problem to have.
Our rides are now filled with transitions, lots and lots of transitions. We collect and lengthen at the trot. We do the trot to canter transition over and over until it's soft. We do the same thing, if not more of them, for the canter to trot transition. Now that I know what's looming ahead at Second Level, I am fixing those blooper moments now rather than later.
I am having fun riding him, and he seems very happy. That's really all I can ask. We have some schooling shows lined up for the fall, and if all goes well, he might actually make it to a USDF-rated show next summer. For now, I see a lot more transitions in his immediate future.
And that, too is a good problem to have.
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%: