From Endurance to Dressage
I've been looking forward to this date, January 1, 2020, for more than a decade. Y2K, an ominous year if there ever was one, started off as a year predicted to be filled with disaster. On the other hand, 2020, as a metaphor for perfect vision, has always seemed a year destined to bring clarity, opportunity, and a road paved straight and smooth. Will it? I don't know, but I like how things are shaping up.
Over the past week, I've been planning my show year. I've also spent hours and hours and hours working on things for our chapter of the California Dressage Society, the Tehachapi Mountain Chapter. As Vice-Chair, I've taken my job pretty seriously. Public service is not necessarily what gets me going, but I felt it was time for me to start giving back.
With "giving back" as my motivation, I've been working on a number of projects for the chapter. The first was making our chapter a lot more visible. I revamped the chapter's old website in favor of something a little fresher and then changed the web address; www.tmcdressage.org was the result. I am not a web designer by trade, so it is what it is, but I think it suits our needs.
Next, I launched our new Facebook Page. I am just going to say, I have trouble managing my own social media. Suddenly, I am the one responsible for keeping up on three pages, my own, a group I belong to, and now the Chapter's page. I'm turning into one of those people who's always checking her phone. But really, check out our Facebook page and give us a "like," especially if you live in California.
The thing with being on a board is that the group represented has to have a reason for being, and the board has to bring to life that reason. For us, the sole purpose of the chapter is to put on shows. We don't have enough members, nor do we draw from a large enough pool, to put on USDF-rated shows. Our summer series of shows are CDS-rated which is a big attraction for our local riders.
Scores from CDS-rated shows can be applied to a lot of programs, all of which I've talked about many times. Your scores count for CDS Plates (which go on a plaque), rider awards (my Ruby Rider award is over there on the right), Horse Performance Awards (Speedy has one), the Regional Adult Amateur Competition, and the CDS Championship. The reality is that our members can do and earn a lot of things without ever having to participate in the pricey USDF shows.
Our chapter, which is based in the mountains of Tehachapi, is hosting 5 shows this year; we added a new show for here in Bakersfield. Well actually, we're reviving an old show that was run by someone else. They've agreed to join forces with us. Since our show manager retired, and we freshened things up, a new show premium had to be created. I volunteered.
Holy moly, was it ever a lot of work! It's nearly done, but it has gone through at least 2 dozen edits, and it seems that we keep finding things to add. I will never look at a show entry the same way again!
Besides planning and organizing our Chapter's shows, I've also planned out my own show schedule. Although you know how that goes, "You make your plans and you hear god laughing." Even so, I need a direction in which to start, and since this is the year 2020, a year of clear vision, I am hopeful.
My plan is to get our last Bronze Medal score in the spring. That's certainly not a guarantee, but again, it's 2020. After that, I plan to take Izzy to all of the TMC shows and Speedy to the summer's USDF shows. We'll see how long my money lasts, but that way, I might have two horses qualified for the Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) in August. Izzy got his toes wet last summer. He's ready to start doing his job.
I've been reading The left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin, and last night something jumped off the page that really seemed appropriate for this new year. In response to something Estraven has just said, Mr. Ai responds, "I felt as he did. It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
Truer words could not be spoken. Happy New Year!
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%: