From Endurance to Dressage
I feel like I keep writing the same thing over and over: Izzy is amazing, Izzy is awesome, Izzy is the best horse ever.
I am not sure when it started, but some time last year, things started to go south. Izzy got heavier and heavier in the bridle until he was simply running away with me. He ignored all of my aids until bolting, spooking, and running around like a giraffe were his normal.
Over the summer, I had the saddle fitter check out my saddle, the chiropractor did some body work, and I had Izzy's hocks injected. None of it made a difference. By the fall, I was genuinely considering selling him. Nothing I was doing was helping him to relax or feel comfortable in his work.
Then he refused to take the bit for bridling. My trainer suggested we change bits, so I switched him to the Myler Correction bit and things started to improve almost immediately. After that we moved him into the double bridle which worked like magic, until it didn't. He had a major meltdown about that, so I went back to the correction bit.
Throughout the late fall into winter, the jackassery began to fade, and we actually started to make some real progress. At the beginning of this year, I moved him into a Myler ported bit which is almost dressage legal. Since then, Izzy has done nothing but be fantastic.
Now, rather than simply get control of a freight train, we are schooling movements from Training through Second Level. We have a decent stretchy trot, we can maintain the canter lead on a single loop, and he can even do a pretty nice little turn on the haunches!
I have a dressage legal bit ready to go, but since I don't have any shows lined up just yet, I am going to wait a bit longer before we transition to it. While he is super fabulous, he still has an occasional brain fart. The ported bit gives me the control I need, so that his shenanigans don't get out of hand.
I've always been creative with my bit selection, but after working with my big brown horse, I am an even firmer believer in adding a bit check when trying to figure out why a horse won't work for you.
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%: