From Endurance to Dressage
The only way to eat dirt when you're riding is to ... ahem ... not be riding. Yep. Speedy G, the last one I'd suspect of being so naughty, launched me into the air. What goes up must certainly come down which is how I ate dirt at Saturday's show.
The details? Well, I was at my trailer getting ready to head to the warm-up. As I put my leg over Speedy's back and was reaching for the outside stirrup, He bolted and started bucking. I pulled his head around hard and attempted to use the pulley-halt, but I just couldn't get control of him without my feet in the stirrups. He gave just one too many bucks and got me looser than I already had been. I saw dirt approaching, and I hit the ground hard.
Since this was a local show, everyone knew me so help arrived immediately. Speedy had stopped his shenanigans and was standing over me quietly which lessened some of the confusion. LB, the warm-up ring steward was the first to arrive. She gave me a once over and tried to clean me up as well as she could. Did I mention that I was in my WHITE breeches and coat, ready for my first test? When I hit the ground, I rocked backwards slamming my head into the dirt. My head was fine, but the velveteen of my helmet was not. She squished it into place as well as she could, but the helmet will need replacing which is actually okay as I didn't really care for it anyway.
The real damage was to my right seat bone. I had landed on it squarely, and it hurt like holy heck. When I did manage to stand up, that "cheek" protested with some very strong language. I will say this about myself: I am tough as nails. Endurance riders tend to be so. Filthy dirty, mouth filled with grit, right butt and leg throbbing ... too bad. I hauled Speedy G over to the round pen and sent him on a buck-it-out-please circle.
As I was finishing with the round pen, two cowboys approached the fence with a, "Ma'am?"
Oh, geez! The last thing I need right now is two local yokels offering advice on how to ride my horse. That's what I was thinking as I grabbed Speedy's reins and hustled back to my trailer, with another "Ma'am?" following behind.
With a little help from LB, I was finally able to get on Speedy with ten minutes left before my first ride. I warmed him up and rode over and did my test (score sheets coming in a few days). I was fairly pleased with the ride especially since I had had a rather rough start to the day. My seat bone was on fire, and I was doubting whether I could ride the second test, but at least I had put in a somewhat decent ride.
As I came back through the warm-up ring, the Technical Delegate called out my name and asked to speak to me. For heaven's sake, what else could possibly happen? The TD advised me that when a rider comes off, it is required that an EMT give the rider some kind of exam to determine whether she is "with it" enough to ride. I think this is a recent rule change although I can't find it. I believe that up until recently, if you came off, you were eliminated. In any case she asked if I would take a minute to speak with the EMT. Why certainly I answered. Where is he? Guess who she pointed at? Yep. The two cowboys from earlier. Boy, was I embarrassed! I was given a once over and asked if I felt tingling, numbness, or any other symptom that indicated I had suffered a TBI. Nope, I just pointed to my butt and said that it hurt like heck. The EMT and the TD cleared me for the last ride.
Are your ready for this? The drama was not over! To be continued ...
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%