From Endurance to Dressage
Dressage is certainly a never ending stairway to forever. I know I'll never get to the finish, but I certainly do appreciate those times when I know I've made it up a step or two. This past weekend was one of those times.
For several years now I've learned that a horse must be soft and forward and that we must be prepared to give so that the horse goes into our hand. Blah, blah blah is apparently all I've actually heard because it wasn't until this past weekend that I finally got it. Or, I should say, got it with Sydney.
I already wrote about that the other day, but it was at Monday's lesson that I got confirmation that I really do have a better understanding of an elastic connection. JL is hard to impress, and even when I suspect that she's impressed, she doesn't get all let's have a party on me. She'll say, I like what you're doing with your inside rein … good catch there … that was a better transition, etc. I definitely got all of those comments and more at the lesson.
We continued working on lightness to achieve a better canter to trot transition. As I ask for the downward, Sydney needs me to weight the outside seat bone, resist his forward with my hands, and add leg to get him to stretch his hind legs into the trot. He wants to drop out of the canter onto his forehand while his hind legs drag out behind. JL was helping me to figure out how to keep him uphill while helping his hind legs stay active.
It's going to take us some time to get a nicely uphill, downward transition, but I think my feel for the contact is getting better and better.
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%: