From Endurance to Dressage
After Saturday's don't want to attitude, Izzy came out a bit friskier on Sunday. It didn't hurt that the ranch owner was hand-walking her mare as we rode. Once she went out of sight, Izzy's girlfriend leaving alert went off which got his motor revving. I actually appreciated the opportunity to school through a bit of a tantrum.
Even though I haven't had a lesson in a while, I decided to video my ride to see where we stand after a very inconsistent past month or so. To my surprise, Izzy was looking pretty fancy pants, and I didn't completely hate my position. My rides on Speedy always felt great, but video told a different story. Riding Izzy feels like an 8 second bull ride, but the video always shows a pair that looks pretty well put together. I don't know if looks are deceiving or if my feel needs recalibrating. Probably both.
We had another deluge on Saturday night so the arena was even wetter than the day before. The top half stays pretty rideable, but with more water dumped on it, I had an even smaller part of the arena in which to ride than on Saturday. There's not a whole lot you can do on a 20-meter circle besides transitions, so that's what I worked on. With Izzy, lack of submission is always a recurring theme, so I schooled submissive 20-meter circles.
Most of the ride went pretty well, but Izzy did pull a couple of DUDE! moments. He definitely challenges me for most every single ride, and it does get old, but the longer I have him the quicker he gives it up. His biggest spook of the day came out of no where and left just as quickly.
This horse definitely sees dead people. The thing that cracks me up about his theatrical expressions is that my face never changes. I just sit through the shenanigans, pop him in when necessary, pat him nearly always, and then carry on. For his part, Izzy accepts the correction, checks in to make sure I am serious, and then gets back to work.
I haven't shared this before now, but we probably aren't doing any shows until late summer, if at all. My husband and I are going to Europe for two weeks in June which means I am saving every non-essential dollar to pay for our trip. And since Izzy isn't helping me earn any qualifying scores, I'd rather use my money for something a bit more fulfilling. In some ways it makes riding easier because I am not pushing for anything in particular. I'm just riding the horse I have today.
I love showing, but I love not being in debt even more. Riding at home for a few months is a good opportunity to continue chipping away at some of Izzy's fears. It's hard to be upset about not showing when the alternative is seeing the world. And besides, Izzy doesn't care whether we show or not.
We're pretty excited to get back to traveling. More details 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
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: