From Endurance to Dressage
I am not one to do year in review posts. Not anymore, anyway. Way back when I first started blogging, I did a few. Frankly, they're just too much work. I do feel a need to bid adieu to the old though as we welcome in the new. With that, I decided to choose my three favorite (equine) things about 2019.
#1 My Health
In 2018, the migraines that I had battled since childhood reached unmanageable levels. At one point, I had a migraine for 6 straight weeks. It became so severe that while at the doctor's office, my neurologist had me admitted to and treated in the ER. Shortly after that episode, I decided to lose weight. By the end of 2018, I had lost 40 pounds, and the neurologist was getting the migraines under control.
In 2019, I kept most of the weight off; I think I've gained back 5 pounds over the holidays, and the migraines are now mostly controlled with medication. I take two daily prescriptions, and once a month I give myself an injection of a third medication. I still have the occasional headache, but they're easily treated.
It has been so much easier to ride with that weight gone, and my head is clear. For so long I rode with a head throbbing in pain or fuzzy from medication. 2019 was the first year in a long while that I felt healthy while riding.
#2 Third level
I say this every time Speedy and I advance to a new level, but showing at Third Level was something I only secretly aspired to and certainly never thought we'd ever achieve. It's been a real thrill to take my well-bred, but not dressage-bred, Arabian up the levels by myself. Yes, I have had wonderful trainers and clinicians coaching me along the way, but I am the one who does the daily riding.
I say this because it proves that anyone can "dressage". You don't need to board at a fancy training barn - I certainly don't, and you don't need a big fancy warmblood - you all know Speedy's an Arabian. You don't even have to show at Third Level. I was having just as much fun as an Introductory Level rider. I always wanted to get better, of course, but for me, First Level was always the big goal. So to be where we are now at the end of 2019 only makes my heart swell with pride. I love this horse.
#3 Breaking 60%
If you've been reading my blog for more than 10 minutes, you know that scores are important to me. For me, they're proof of improvement. Scores below 60% say we're not there yet. Scores of 60% say we're getting close. Scores in the mid-60s say we have a chance to win.
I wouldn't be so happy about Third Level if we hadn't managed to earn a few scores of 60%. Three of them were earned at CDS only shows, but they're still important to me. Those scores helped me earn my annual "plate;" with those scores, Speedy will earn his Third Level Horse Award - we need one more score; those scores will qualify us for the Regional Adult Amateur Competition and the CDS Championship Show - we need a few more; and if we make it to Fourth Level, the scores will help us earn the CDS Sapphire Rider Award - I already have the Ruby Rider Award.
More importantly though, those scores are what we need to earn a USDF Bronze Medal, and we just need one more. We had to work really hard in 2019, but I am proud of what we were able to achieve. We're definitely still struggling at Third Level, but now I know we can break 60%.
Well, no, but I did limit myself to my favorite three things. I could really go on and on since 2019 was filled with great things. Speedy is much happier since we moved him to a new field. Izzy is definitely happier. I got a new truck. Izzy went to a few shows and even earned 60% himself. He now goes in a dressage legal bit 95% of the time. Without looking back at every post, I can still say 2019 was a good year. I had fun with my horses, and I think they had fun with me.
It's hard to ask for too much more than that.
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%: