From Endurance to Dressage
If It Ain't Broke ...
If I have anything to do with it, it soon will be - broke that is. Shall I list everything that has recently failed, broken, fallen off my truck, or been wrecked? Let's see ... My truck's steering damper was replaced in February, then, after being looked at again a few weeks ago, it fell off. While my truck was at Ford having the steering damper replaced for the second time, I locked the keys in the rental necessitating a call to AAA. Two pairs of boots had zipper blowouts in the same week. I dented my tailgate when we drove out to the desert for a trail ride. A week later, I dented my trailer coming home from a lesson after waiting all day for the highway to reopen after a traffic hazard had shut it down for nearly the entire day.
Life goes on though, so I took my truck to Ford, and the steering damper was replaced (again). I had the zippers replaced on both sets of boots, and while the brass zippers were a bit shocking at first, they work really great and will work for now. The dent in my tailgate is hardly noticeable, so I won't do anything about it. Yesterday afternoon, I dropped my trailer off at DeLaney Manufacturing for repair. They did a great job on the last repair I needed, so I am confident that I'll be happy with whatever they do to fix it. You would think that my run of bad luck would have exhausted itself by now. Until Saturday morning, that's what I thought, too.
I made it to the El Sueño Equestrian Center this past Friday afternoon in plenty of time for a lesson with Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage. Afterwards, I drove Izzy over to Sean's barn to stable for the night. The next morning, I got in my truck to head back to El Sueño for this weekend's show. Sean and Valerie had already left with Clooney and Cinco, Valerie's two geldings. I was meeting them there.
I loaded Izzy and settled myself into the driver's seat ready for a fun day of showing. I turned the key and was concerned to see a different screen light up on my dash. On it, I saw three very healthy tires and a fourth with very low tire pressure. Oh, hell. At first glance I thought it was the tire on my trailer where the dent was, but then I remembered that my gauges only read the truck's tires. I jumped out and gave the offending tire a thorough exam. Right in the center of the tread, I spotted a very small screw dug into the rubber. I couldn't hear any air leaking, and the tire felt mostly solid after a swift kick, so I decided to try and make it to El Sueño which was just a ten-mile drive down the road.
As I drove - ridiculously slowly I might add, the tire pressure actually came up a pound or two as the tire heated up. As I pulled into the parking area at El Sueño, I pried my clenched fingers from the steering wheel. Before even unloading Izzy, I opened up AAA's app and requested help. Once Izzy was tied to the trailer and eating his breakfast, I also unhooked the trailer.
Fortunately, I had arrived with plenty of time before I needed to show, so at least that pressure was off."T," one of Sean's other students, came over to wait for the tow truck with me. What a way to make me feel like one of the team. Everyone was quick to offer me help, and they were all genuinely worried about my safety and mental well-being. Showing with this group has already turned out to be so much more fun than I was expecting.
It took about forty-five minutes for the tow truck to arrive, but the technician who showed up made up for the wait. He was jovial and seemed downright happy to help. Rather than put on the spare, he offered to fix the tire on the spot. Once my tire was fixed and the trailer hooked up, I took a much needed mental break by hanging out with my new coach and team. The rest of the weekend went well, but more about that to come.
Universe, if you can hear me, I think I am done with all of the shenanigans.
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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%: