From Endurance to Dressage
My horses share a very large, sandy field that is crossed fenced so that each has his own half. I wouldn't mind removing the fence and giving them a larger area to run and play, but their dietary needs require them to be fed separately.
A few weeks ago, the ranch owners erected a cover for one of the newest horses at the ranch, Sarah. My boys don't have a rain shelter. Izzy's side of the field has a HUGE Sycamore that provides wonderful shade in the summer and some protection from the rain in winter. Speedy has a line of Cottonwoods that give him shade, but they don't do much to protect him from the rain.
The first few years that Speedy lived at the ranch, he lived in a size-able, covered pen that opened into a large field. He was turned out at night, but his gate was left open so he could come and go. When we moved him to Izzy's field, I knew there wasn't as much shelter from the rain, so I blanketed him on those days that were particularly wet. It also "helps" that here in Bakersfield we only average around 6 inches of rain per year. Shelter from the summer sun is far more important than shelter from the occasional rainy day.
When I saw the shelter going up in Sarah's field, I asked if maybe Speedy could get one, too. Once Sarah's was done, the ranch owners very graciously began acquiring the materials for a rain shelter for both Speedy and Izzy. Last week, all of the framing was finished.
Since both of my boys are massive pests, a perimeter fence was temporarily installed to protect the work crew from my nosy ponies. And of course, the fence also protects said nosy ponies from maiming themselves on the ladders and other work equipment left while the construction continues.
The ranch owner told me that the structure is 16 by 16 feet. Since the shelter straddles the cross fence evenly, each horse will have a rain shelter that measure 8 by 16 feet. That's plenty for getting out of the rain. I really like that the shelter is being built to be shared because I often find my boys standing companionably in the sun during the hottest part of the day. They would rather stand together than head to their shady corners alone. I am certain I will find them hanging out together this summer in their shade shelter. The roof is still un-attached, but the whole thing should be finished soon.
Home make-overs always take longer than you would want.
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%: