From Endurance to Dressage
If you didn't check out Centerline Scores when I posted about it the other day, you should. In case you missed it, you can find it here. When I first started showing dressage, I met a lot of people who were eager to share their show experience with me. I also met a lot of people who passed themselves off as in the know. When you yourself are NOT in the know, it is difficult to know whose advice to trust.
During my years as an endurance rider, I researched people's records quite frequently on AERC's website to see if what they claimed about their riding was truthful or not. I found this necessary when I was being offered advice or when people asked if they could ride with me. Most endurance riders that I know who are "serious" about the sport are selective about who they'll ride with.
As an example: When Mickey Dee was still new to the trail, I looked for people to tag along with to increase his exposure to riding in small groups and with strange horses. A woman I knew thought it would be great fun to hit the trail together. It turned out to be a big mistake. Not only did she spend every single moment of the ride on her cell phone telling the person on the other end how much fun she was having, but she proceeded to gallop off down the trail without advising me of the gate change. Mickey wasn't ready to gallop down the trail so I had my hands full keeping him at a walk. Let's just say that I never rode with Chatty Kathy again!
The American Endurance Race Conference maintains a data base of every rider and horse's race statistics. Simply visit their site here, scroll down to AERC Records, choose either Horse History or Rider History, and type in a name. Here's a snap shot of my race record:
I don't have as many miles as some folks (Trilby Pederson has over 60,000 miles), but I competed for 15 seasons with very few "pulls," and several of those were for Rider Ain't Doin' Right. Not an official term, but you know what I mean. If I offer endurance advice, it would be a good idea to check my record first to see if I have actually done the thing I'm describing.
I am sharing all of this because Centerline Scores gives me a way, sort of, to check on people who are offering advice or hanging out a trainer's shingle. The main limitation to Centerline Scores is that it only tracks results from USDF shows and not CDS-rated or schooling shows. If you check out the About Us link, you'll read the following: CenterlineScores.com was created as a tool to assist the United States Dressage community. Firstly, it is a tool that can be used to look at your own scores (or your friends’) to understand how you’re doing. Secondly, the site can be used as a tool to verify what other people (riders, trainers, owners, etc.) say about themselves, their horses, their records and their accomplishments.
Love it! These people get it. I recently got an earful from a rider so I decided to look her up. Guess what? She has fewer than 10 posted scores (55% - 65%) and they're all at Training Level. How sound is her advice? I over-heard another rider claim that she had shown at third level. I looked up her record. Same thing - fewer than 10 posted scores (all below 55%) and no test above First Level. How trustworthy is she? Another rider, who is a trainer, has no record at all on Centerline Scores. I am not sure I want a dressage trainer who has never shown at a USDF show.
I can already see some loaded comments coming my way about this topic. I can handle it. And just in case you want to see if I do more than talk the talk, you can see every single one of my test results here. Centerline Scores added one last statement on their About Us link. It was this, We’re all about accuracy and transparency. Exactly!
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%: