From Endurance to Dressage
Now that our new grooming and tacking up station is up and running, I've discovered that a few tweaks were needed. The first was to create crossties which don't work quite right because there is a hitching rail chest high, but it works well enough. I could just tie to the hitching rail, of course, but I try to never "hard tie" a horse. I prefer to use the Blocker Tie Ring, but they don't work quite as well when hung at chest level.
When we designed the grooming station, our plan was to attach eyebolts to each post from which we could hang my Blocker Tie Rings and hay net. In practice, both of my horses quickly realized they could step to the side and eventually walk around the post to the other side. Just why, horses, why? My initial plan was to simply wrap the halter lead rope around the center post, but Izzy quickly realized that with a gentle pull, he could free himself from that restraint and still walk around the pole to stand wherever he wanted. Again, why, horse, why?
When I realized that wasn't going to work for Izzy, I decided to create a second crosstie by suspending a Blocker Tie Ring from the roof support. I hung the Blocker Tie Ring with a thin rope, actually more of a thick string. It will wear out, and it will eventually give way, but that doesn't worry me as I'll simply string up a new length of "rope" when it does. I used to hang my Blocker Tie Ring with baling twine which would give way at least once a year as it broke down from being repeatedly rubbed against the trailer. When accidentally "freed," both of my horses happily trot over to the grass. There is nowhere for them to go and no chance of running into traffic.
The other thing that I don't like about our new grooming area is where my bridle/halter rack is hanging. The hooks themself don't worry me as they swivel. The whole thing is easily removed as it is just hanging there, so I don't worry about a horse getting hung up on it. What I don't like is that once I hang my halter or bridle from it, it would be very easy for a horse to step forward and then get tangled in the bridle or halter. I had to find a solution for that.
None of us wanted to mount metal bridle hooks as they would be much too easy to get hung up on, so I ordered a set of four Flex Bridle Tack Hook Hangers. We only need to hang halters and bridles on them, so I am sure they'll work just fine. We'll get them hung this weekend.
Starting from scratch has been a great reminder of how easily horses can hurt themselves. Every horse is different - some never get hurt, and others choke on their padded stalls. There is no fool proof way to keep your horse safe when trailering, grooming, tacking up, etc., but if you know your horse and what he's likely to mess with, you can remove a lot of horse eating dangers. Unless you have a horse like Izzy, then all I can say is good luck.
Yes, Izzy. I am talking about YOU!
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%: