From Endurance to Dressage
Like I mentioned yesterday, Speedy's work load has been greatly reduced, but that doesn't mean he's completely retired. While "T" has been riding once a week or so, I've only been on him once since August. I know he probably has needed the break, and Izzy is certainly benefitting, but yesterday was one of those days where a walk around the block was just what we both needed.
I had a late meeting, and the temperature had crept back up to near a hundred. I drove out to the ranch without a clear plan for the day, but once I got there, hopping up on Speedy bareback for a long walk seemed like the perfect way to spend an hour. I curried his coat - both of my boys are already getting their winter hair, fed him some cookies, and tossed on my riding halter. I swung a leg over, and we headed out around the neighborhood.
There's always a lot to see on this walk. Most of the neighbors have horses or other animals. One property has huge metal sculptures of dinosaurs, and they're never in the same place. The Haners, who are at the top of the map, have a farm with geese, turkeys pigs, and more. After the Haner farm, there is an easement we cut through that has an apple tree. I don't know if they're ripe enough for eating, but they were good enough for Speedy.
Speedy has lived in this neighborhood for nine years. This is the first time he willingly let me maneuver him alongside that tree so I could grab some apples for him. For eight and a half years he has been certain that scooching up to that tree meant certain death. For this first visit, I was able to easily snap an apple from its limb without Speedy scooting out in terror as the tree vibrated and shook. And once I had the apple in my hand, he whipped his head around and snatched it from me. It took him nine years, but he finally figured out what I was doing up there.
I didn't ride the full loop, which would have taken us south to ride along the river, because Speedy was feeling a bit too frisky by the time we made it to the old golf course. To get to the river we have to bushwhack it, and I wasn't in the mood to work that hard to stay aboard. And really, a half an hour was plenty of time for him to stretch his legs which was all I wanted to achieve. When we got back to the ranch, I unclipped his reins and watched him canter down to see Izzy. Once he had shown everyone he was back, Speedy dropped his head to graze.
While Saddle up anyway is my personal motto, it doesn't mean you actually have to have a saddle. Bareback with a halter works just fine.
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%