From Endurance to Dressage
If this isn't an over-done topic, I don't know what is. Every equestrian magazine in the world does a rider fitness article at least once a year, probably even more. It's an issue we all face and (I think) hate equally. Even so, here I go ...
My weight goes up and down every few years. It's not like I get really heavy, but I am definitely two sizes more than I'd like, and on a 5'3" frame, that means tubby. Carrying that extra weight is frustrating because both my husband and I already maintain a very healthy lifestyle. There's not a lot I can just cut out to easily drop five to ten pounds. We live an active lifestyle and eat really well: no fast food, no sodas, no coffee, I eat a healthy protein breakfast every day, I pack a lunch, and I cook dinner nightly.
The only way for me to drop some weight is to move more. Like everyone else, I already use all of the minutes in my twenty-four day. I leave for work around 6:00 a.m. and get home from the barn around 6:00 p.m. I cook dinner, spend an hour or two with my husband and the dogs, and then it's off to bed. That means that if I want to increase my exercise, I have to do it at 4:30 a.m. So that's what I am doing.
I got back on the treadmill in mid-January and have been slowly increasing my speed and distance. my goal is always to keep my average pace at 6 miles per hour, a 10-minute mile. In the beginning, I ran for 15 minutes, slowly bumping up my speed until I was running at least one 10-minute mile during the time frame.
I am now up to 2 miles in a shade under 20 minutes. I just reached that goal today (yesterday I did it in 20:15). Next week, I'll be running ten miles a week (I run five days a week). I know I am getting fitter, and I am definitely feeling stronger through my core, but the pounds aren't coming off. No matter what the scale says, I am certain my horses appreciate a fitter rider.
Do you have a fitness routine that is outside of the barn? Gym? Home? Walk the dog? Just don't tell me it's running 20 miles a week - thinking about the 10 is already depressing!
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%