From Endurance to Dressage
Now where were we? Ah, yes, I remember ... Newt.
Back before I needed to take a vacation from life - and trust me, it was no vacation, I had been expressing some serious frustration from my get me there and back truck, Newt. Here it is if you need to catch up. There's more ...
I picked Newt up from the Ford Service Department on Friday afternoon, relieved that she was fixed and ready for action. On Monday afternoon, the check engine light came back on. I almost cried. I pulled in to my trusty oil change place where they checked the codes, and AGAIN - glow plugs. I immediately called the Ford Service Department who told me to bring it back the next morning.
Now, I don't know where you live or what your transportation system is like, but here in California, if you don't have a vehicle, you're screwed. There's no train, subway, or bus in Kern County that can get you where you need to go in a timely manner, especially where I live. Hitchhiking would be the fastest form of public transportation. Back when I had Blue Truck, I also had a daily driver which meant we had three vehicles at our disposal. Now that we're once again a two-driver, two vehicle household, things get pretty awkward when one of our vehicles is indisposed.
I work 30 minutes to the southwest. My husband works 45 minutes to the northwest. Ride sharing is not a solution for us. Given how far out of town we live, calling an Uber or a Lyft is not going to solve the problem. No one will come out here that early in the morning - I leave for work at 5:45 a.m. Before the butt crack of dawn had even thought about getting up, my husband followed me to the Ford Service Department. We left Newt, he dropped me off at school, and then he drove north. I think he had driven an hour before he even started toward work.
That afternoon, I got a call from the Ford Service Department telling me that Newt had checked out fine. The codes had just needed to be reset. Given the hassle I had already been through, I insisted that someone drive Newt to the school where I work and drop her off. Whether they value my business or just didn't want to deal with me any longer, they agreed. A short time later, my phone rang; my service representative called to very sheepishly explain that on the drive from Ford to my school, the check engine light came BACK on, so the driver had to return to Ford.
Tabitha - we were finally on a first name basis, told me not to worry as a rental car was headed my way. If you'll remember, I had spent the better part of the preceding week in a rental the size of a pea. Fortunately, car number two was a bit larger and came with some creature comforts that car number one had lacked - head and leg room being two of them.
The next day, Tabitha called with some pretty distressing news. Two additional glow plugs had failed. Weird and certainly unusual, but ... Tabitha explained that the two glow plugs that they had replaced the week before accounted for every glow plug in Ford's inventory. There were literally no glow plugs available from Ford, not just in Bakersfield, but across the entire country. When I asked when new glow plugs would be available, she rather flippantly responded that it could be six hours or six months. And until two glow plugs could be located, Newt wasn't going home.
I was actually quite proud of myself for not shoving my bunched up panties down someone's throat. While I wanted to burst into tears or maybe punch someone, I didn't. Instead, I took a really, really, really deep breath, and asked very politely for someone to work the freaking problem. And while they were working the problem, I asked if we could actually locate six glow plugs - two to replace the two that had failed and four others to replace the four that were going to fail. If four of the eight had failed within a week's time, it seemed only logical to suspect that the next four were also on their way out.
The next day, Tabitha called and said that Newt was again ready to go home. They had found four, non-factory glow plugs. Is there a black market for glow plugs? Where did they find them? The local junk yard? Whatever. Four had been found, but since only two had actually failed, the warranty could only cover those. I had to fork over $150 bucks for the two that we replaced proactively. When the next two fail, Ford will be on the hook for those.
Which brings us to today. For now, Newt is running just fine, and the check engine light hasn't come back on. Yet. My faith in the last two original glow plugs is lower even than Biden's approval rating, and that number is not looking good.
Got any glow plugs I could buy?
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%: