From Endurance to Dressage
California's Central Valley is not known for being verdant and lush. It rains only in the winter, and only a few times at that. California's Central Valley is fed by melting snow, or runoff, from the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. As such, valley farmers rely on a vast system of canals to water the valley's massive agriculture output.
Unlike a lot of the rest of the country, our green shows up in the winter only to turn brown and die by mid-spring. Winter grass, as we call it, is a welcome respite from the dry hills we see most of the year. Last year, California had a fair amount of rain which contributed to the 2019 wildflower Super Bloom. When you live in a state as water starved as ours, flowers are pretty exciting.
Our green period only lasts through the winter. Once the weather warms up, everything dies. Right now, my boys are loving the green grass. And even though both of them live in large dirt pastures, Speedy loves to get turned out.
While I ride Izzy, Speedy gets locked in the alley between the pastures. When I am not riding, I let him loose to wander where he may.
We have a new pony at the ranch, Baloo, and Speedy has taken a liking to him. He lives directly across from Speedy, so while Speedy was turned out on Sunday, he and Baloo spent some time visiting.
Izzy also enjoys the winter grass, but he still needs some supervision.
Spring is just around the corner for us, but its arrival always signals the end of the lushness of winter. In its place, we prepare for the arrival of the brown and yellow hills. We're not called the Golden State for nothing.
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%: