From Endurance to Dressage
I don't know, and I don't want to know! Keep 'em coming is what I have to say. For those of you who are interested in riding with him, there is talk that he may be back in July or August. I know I've managed to persuade at least two of you to give his clinics a try, so maybe there are more of you out there.
I've thought long and hard about what I took away from this clinic. Being Christian's "puppet" - having him ride my horse through my body, always gives me a greater feel for what I am supposed to be doing when I am on my own. Outside of the mechanics of riding though, I took away some other ideas about being a student.
Christian and I have had a chance to get to know one another over the past two years. I know now that when he pokes or teases me, it's just his way of lightening the mood and making dressage fun. And it's not just me he teases; Christian is simply a funny guy who has a very jovial outlook on life in general. He's quick to laugh, especially at his own expense, and enjoys the work he does.
Christian has also had a chance to get to know what makes me tick and how I think and process information. He has seen that I take this discipline seriously and that I am truly willing to put in the work to get the job done. I think, I might be wrong, but I doubt it, that we have finally reached a point where we have created a teacher-student relationship that has a sense of commitment.
I am no longer a one-timer. I know Christian sees a lot of that type of clinic attendee - someone who wants to give a clinic a try, but probably won't be back. I've done that myself a number of times. A clinic was offered, I showed up, but for whatever reason was never able to reconnect with that instructor again. There is nothing wrong with that. I hope to do it again in June at the CDS Adult Amateur Clinic.
Being in a "committed" student-teacher relationship changes the instruction. I felt like Christian re-evaluated his purpose in my dressage journey. He started looking farther down the road than just at what was happening today. For this clinic, he took some extra moments and gave me some advice on how Sydney's tail should hang - it needed to be cut. He also corrected my use of polo wraps, explaining that my wraps weren't doing what I had intended.
It felt like he was buying into my dressage future. For the first two years that I fooled around with schooling and showing, I struggled with finding a trainer who was willing to help me achieve my goals. I finally found what I was searching for in JL. She wants me to be successful and is helping me go where I want to go. I think Christian has joined my little team, even though it may be from a distance.
If I had to name only one thing that I took away from this clinic, it would be that I am not a horrible rider. I am actually a good rider who has a lot going for her. I have a good seat, good balance, and a decent feel for not getting in my horse's way. Christian helped me see this.
Having someone of Christian's experience show such admiration for what I've accomplished with Sydney has given me such an incredible confidence boost. Having Christian's admiration helped me see myself in a whole new light. All along I've struggled with feelings of inadequacy: am I good enough, should I even bother, do I just look like an idiot?
According to Christian, yes, I am good enough, yes, I should bother, and no, I am nowhere close to being an idiot. And I know he wasn't patronizing me. He genuinely respects me as a rider. That was the best take away of all. Having Christian's respect gave me a huge sense of validation.
I feel like I finally made the team.
More to come ...
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%