From Endurance to Dressage
The boys and I have been in our new home for a full month now. While I can't speak for them, I am loving the new place. Even though they don't speak "people," all signs suggest that Speedy and Izzy are happy too.
Speedy shares his living space with a very kind gelding named Willy. During the day, Speedy stays in his paddock while Willy enjoys the turn out. At dinner time, the ranch owner locks Willy in and opens Speedy's gate. The boys get along really well and spend most of their time visiting over the fence. It's been a long time since Speedy has had daily contact with a friend. I think he needed it.
I can't say that Izzy is any less energetic in his huge turn out, but I do know that he keeps himself busy. The live-in caretaker has remarked several times how funny it is to see Izzy playing with his barrel or cantering laps. His holes are shallow, but they're still there. No one gets upset by them, and the caretaker kindly smooths them out now and again for Izzy's safety.
It took him a while, but Izzy now uses every square inch of his home. He's learned to follow the shade, and he visits with his neighbors when they're around. I see him hanging out next to the stallion quit often even though they are separated by a double fence line.
As for me, I am finding ranch life to be very relaxing. I no longer do all of the chores that I did at my last barn which means I spend more time with my horses, yet I get home sooner.
I used to shovel all of the cubes into buckets for my boys' twice daily feeding (and ultimately was doing one of the other horse's buckets too). Now, the ranch owner takes care of the feeding regimen. She adjusts the hay quantity each day based on what was consumed the day before.
If Izzy leaves a lot, she feeds him a little less at the next feeding, but when he eats most of it, she throws him extra. No one worries about hay scattered on the ground. If there's enough, we gather it up and feed it to the group of horses across from Izzy. I no longer have to buy supplemental hay which saves me both time and money.
Speedy gets fed a fair amount less than Izzy, but his hay is also closely monitored. The ranch owner knows how important it is to me that the boys have hay in front of them 24 hours a day, so she makes sure that neither boy's feed bin is ever empty.
I also love that the bulk of Izzy's diet is a high quality grass hay with alfalfa to round out his ration. He gets all he can eat without me having to worry about him getting too energetic from the calorie dense alfalfa. And now that both boys are on Platinum Performance with some added beet pulp, I feel that their nutritional and turnout needs are more than being met.
That's another way I save time at the barn; I no longer have to rotate horses through daily turnout. Izzy is out all of the time, and Speedy gets out 12 hours a day. On the days I don't ride Speedy (too many of those lately), it's not a big deal as he'll be out all night.
I also don't have to clean paddocks anymore. I am not even sure who does Speedy's. It's either the ranch owner or the live-in caretaker. I've done it maybe three times in the past month, and that was because I just wanted to hang out with Speedy. I can't believe how much time it saves me in the afternoons to not be responsible for that job.
My absolute favorite time-saver at the ranch is not having to water the arena anymore. I did that for so many years and hated every minute of it. The sprinklers were heavy, muddy, and I always ended up with water dribbling down into my muck boots. While the ranch's arena is a little dusty, it settles so quickly that I hardly notice it.
Since the arena is getting used every day now, the ranch owner has already ordered a product that practically eliminates dust. She applied it a number of years ago, but it has since worn off. I love that she is concerned enough about my riding experience to make it even better.
When I show up at the barn now, I am not racing around to set up sprinklers, fill feed buckets, and clean both paddocks all before I can ride. I hardly notice the poop in Speedy's stall as I know someone else is going to clean it up. I don't worry about how much hay Izzy has and whether I need to supplement with more. I don't worry about how deep his newest hole is or what part of the barn might be torn down while he was bored. In fact, I don't worry about anything anymore.
So yeah, new barn is working out great, and life is good. Very good.
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%: