From Endurance to Dressage
Yesterday, I took a lesson with Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage. I was a little nervous about it. While I appreciate constructive criticism, I work best when I am coached by positive feedback. Yes, I need to know what I am doing wrong, but I really need to know what I am doing right. I was putting myself in Sean's hands with fingers crossed.
Riding with a new trainer is a lot like a job interview except that you both know you have the job already. Agreeing to take on a new rider carries risks. What if she turns out to be a pain in the butt? Can you fire her for being annoying?
Deciding to ride with a new trainer is equally risky. What if he's mean? What if he makes you cry? What if he thinks you're an incompetent idiot? I wanted to make a good impression. I cleaned all of my tack the day before, and Izzy was clean and shiny. We were prepared to dazzle and look like a team someone would want to coach.
In Izzy's mind, we were somewhere different, and the impression he made was the last thing he cared about. And that's how Izzy ruined any chance of us making a good impression. A good story though, we've got that covered.
Yep. At the end of the lesson, as we chatted about some final thoughts, Izzy gave two great shakes of his head, and his bridle flew off. And then he looked directly at Pivo as if to gauge my future expression. He never moved a muscle. I hopped off to retrieve my shiny, clean bridle from the dirt, and stared at him in disbelief. He looked so proud of himself!
I checked my bridle, sure that something must have broken, but no. It was in perfect shape. Valerie and Sean both laughed, and we were all grateful that Izzy hadn't spooked and bolted with his bridle dangling between his legs.
I am certain we made an impression, I am just not sure which one it was.
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%: