From Endurance to Dressage
I showed up to the ranch the other day to find all of Izzy's toys flung over the fence again. It's a daily thing now. The barrel has been the one toy that he hasn't managed to fling at Speedy. That doesn't mean he hasn't tried.
I am not sure how calculated was the attempt, it no doubt began as an accident, but that barrel was very nearly on Speedy's side. This isn't a light weight plastic thing either. It's heavy. It's solid. And it is obviously the world's greatest toy.
Of course, Operation Blue Barrel wouldn't have been possible without a prior mission - the one where he dug a giant hole under the fence. That maneuver was probably done in an effort to actually get himself over to Speedy's side.
I mean when you think about it, it's quite extraordinary that he got the barrel to the hole. He had to have thought about that for quite a while. Did he look at the hole and then look at the barrel and calculate how much effort it would take to roll it across his field? And how did he keep his aim so true? Did it take him all night? Did he rest in between efforts?
Once he finally got the barrel poised at the hole, did he have a plan in place for what to do with it once he got it there? Did he think Speedy was going to help him? That hole is pretty deep, but what made him think it was going to fit?
I tried to pull it back out of the hole, but it was wedged in there so tightly that I had to go over to Speedy's side and finish pulling it through. Izzy of course just sat and watched me. Once it was free, I heaved it back over the fence and watched it bounce and roll until it gradually settled in a mound of sand. Speedy was out on the lawn. There is no way I could have done all that with him watching. It would have terrified him. The big brown horse? He just watched in absolute delight.
And then because it was clearly game on, he sauntered up to the abandoned feed trough and climbed up. He stared right at me and began to pound out a rhythm ... bang, bang, bang. I was certain it was Morse Code for let's get it started in here.
I finally joined him in a game of I am going to jump on you. While standing on the feed trough, I "tried" to jump up on his back, but every time I bent my knees to push up, he swung his head around and nibbled at my legs. I crouched, he nibbled, I burst out laughing. It's really hard to leap up on the back of a 16'3 hand horse from a 10 inch "stool." It's impossible when you have the giggles.
Who knows how long the game would have gone on? When I spotted the ranch owner walking our way, I quit that "foolishness." When she came over to check on the other holes that Izzy had dug, he found it totally awesome that we now had a three-player game. Instead, she and I retreated to a safe distance. He can be a bit of a pest.
Izzy is a player for sure.
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%: