From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy has been out of work for a solid three weeks. I was disappointed at the set back, but I think he's sound enough to get back at it. On Sunday, I hacked him around the neighborhood and then did a quick 15-minute schooling ride in the arena. He didn't feel 100%, but he didn't feel lame either. He felt ... stiff.
At nearly 12, Speedy's not old by anyone's standards. Arabs tend to mature slowly and they can live a long, long time. He didn't feel old-age stiff. Instead, he just felt less fluid than he has in the past few months. In some ways, that's great news as it tells me that the work we've been doing has been correct.
On Monday, we had a bit of a Come to Jesus meeting as he acted as though he had no idea how to let go of the left rein and bend his neck. After about 15 minutes, I forget to wonder if he was sound enough for work. I focused on getting him in front of my leg and giving to that left rein. He got mad; I love Speedy when he's mad as that's when he gives me his best work.
Once he was ticked off, his forward got a lot more energetic and he insisted we canter - well okay then! From there, we worked on our canter to walk which definitely suffered over the three weeks that he was recuperating. We'll get it back.
While he still had some energy, I worked on changing the bend at the canter and was quite pleased with how well that went. A good change of bend at the canter helps with the change of lead through trot which ultimately leads to flying lead changes. The day before, during our quick school, I asked for a 20-meter counter canter circle with zero preparation and was delighted to get it both directions.
It might take us a week or two to get back in the groove, but I think Speedy's up to the challenge. I have an afternoon meeting today, but if it doesn't run long, I'll be on Speedy again today. I'm really hoping he feels sounder today. If not, we keep waiting.
And this too, shall pass.
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%: