From Endurance to Dressage
Oh, Lordy was Speedy feeling his oats this weekend! After a month of rain and mud, things have finally begun to dry out. While I finished my lesson with Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage, Brooke went to get Speedy. She later remarked that he looked very energetic. Boy, was he!
I had her start out on a circle with the intention of working on transitions and steering on the circle at E/B. For the first lesson Brooke took, it had been too muddy to do much more than walk and trot carefully, The next time she rode, Speedy had been recovering from his abscess so we rode out on the trail. By Saturday, he was about to explode.
Speedy started out quietly enough as Brooke did some simple walk-trot-walk transitions, but I quickly saw that the transitions were doing just what they're intended to do. Speedy's motor was revving. Every time Brooke did a down and up transition, Speedy's up transitions got just a bit more uphill and enthusiastic. I realized that he needed to do something different before he exploded.
I had Brooke move down to the A end of the arena so that Speedy didn't feel so free to move about. With the two corners to support her, Brooke was able to maintain better control. To help diffuse his bursting energy, I had her spiral in and out at the trot. It certainly gave Speedy some focus, but he needed to let off some steam before he blew his top.
I gave Brooke some tips on how to halt hard if he got too wild and crazy, and I told her not to be afraid to really take hold of him if he got sassy. The little booger did try to bolt a few times, but he wasn't hellbent on fleeing the scene; he just wanted us to know that he could if wanted to. Speedy gave Brooke some of the sassiest canter I've seen him do in a long time. While he lives on nearly an eighth of an acre, it has been, in his opinion at least, too wet to really romp and play in.
I usually keep Speedy's lessons to 30 or 40 minutes, but we ended up working for nearly an hour. He was just so fresh and excited and clearly enjoying himself that we let him canter a bit as he celebrated the spring like day. Fortunately, Brooke is a confident rider who doesn't scare easily. By the time they were done cantering, she was breathing harder than Speedy. Keeping both your own balance and control on a forward thinking horse uses a lot of core muscles that even a triathlete found tiring.
As much as Brooke enjoyed Speedy's theatrics, I think we'll both be glad when he's back to normal this Saturday.
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%: