From Endurance to Dressage
But first, do you remember Angela? She was the rider who was getting ready for her very first show ever. If you don't remember her, you can read about her here. She was just finishing her second test of the day when I pulled in. I didn't get to see her ride, but she spotted my trailer and came over to say hello. Her handsome steed, Good Will, looked charming in his button braids, and Angela's smile lit up her face. She had scored a 63% for her very first ride and admitted that she was hooked. She assured me that was coming back for more shows. Congratulations, Angela!
I wish I could say that our own rides earned such a good score, but alas, our old enemies, canter depart and stretchy circle, both got the better of us again. Even so, if you look at my scores, we were on track for a 60%, but during the middle of our free walk, the equestrian center's tractor dumped a big load of manure into a large metal can and Speedy went from relaxed, swinging walk to full-on gallop. It cost us a two-point deduction for going off course, and I am certain we lost at least a half point on submission. The noise was no excuse for bolting. This is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately. This is the third show in a row where he has spooked hard enough to cause us to lose points. By the way, I gathered up my reins lickety-split, made a small circle, and returned to the track where I let the rein back out with no further tension. At least he got over the spook really quickly.
I am not disappointed with the test. We scored many 6s, and while there were no 7s, there were also no 4s. And considering that Speedy G was high as a kite and seriously tense, I was pleased that I was able to get him through the test without scores lower than the two 5s. I just kept telling myself to add more inside bend and inside leg in order to reduce the spooks that were just waiting to happen. As much as Speedy wanted to rocket right out of the arena, I was able to make it through the corners and keep him under control. But according to the judge's comments, I still didn't have enough inside bend.
I think back to where I was last summer and know beyond a doubt that we are steadily improving. Do I think we have a chance of placing at this weekend's Regional Adult Amateur Competition? Nope, but we're going anyway. My goal is to have fun and just see how we stack up against the riders from the middle third of California. Maybe we won't be terrible. We might even look decent. I'll let you know!
Here is the score sheet. Second test is coming tomorrow. Click to enlarge.
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%: