From Endurance to Dressage
I don't want to complain about the heat, and truly, I try not to, but we have finally reached a temperature where even I won't ride. I ride every day; I enjoy it. It doesn't matter if it's cold, hot as heck, or blowing hard enough to make even Dorothy check the sky. But this, this is just too much.
So far, we've had 41 days of triple-digit heat this summer with more on the way. Our normal is around 33 or so. It's been hot. Since my work week barn time falls from 3:30 to 5:30, I can't escape the hottest part of our day. I can ride at 100, maybe even 102, but 108 (42.2℃ for my foreign friends) is simply out of the question.
I did hop on Speedy bareback with a halter on Wednesday, but we rode down to the river and then tooled around for no more than 20 minutes. We both enjoyed the walk. Izzy hasn't had a ride since Sunday's schooling show, but I think he earned a few days off.
Even though I haven't done a schooling ride this week, I've put the time to good use. One afternoon, I let both boys out on the grass in front of their paddocks. It was quite interesting to watch the dynamics. Speedy is now a confident horse who understands what free grazing means; he's all business. When I let Izzy join him, Izzy's lack of confidence was immediately apparent. It was obvious that he felt uncomfortable without me telling him what to do.
He immediately sidled up to Speedy and suggested they run off. To where he didn't know, but things were not safe. Speedy took him to the end of the fencing, and then stopped and looked around. I brought Speedy back to the grass while Izzy followed along. After several more attempts to leave, I finally held the end of Izzy's rope; he relaxed then and started to graze.
Letting the horses graze on their own without me holding the end of the rope wasn't allowed at my last barn, but now that it's permitted, Izzy will get more practice. I think letting him have some "freedom" will help develop a bit more confidence - something he definitely needs.
There has also been a lot of hanging out in the shade and visiting. A lot of enjoyment can be had listening to your giant pony slurping up something wet and tasty.
While Speedy also enjoys his afternoon beet pulp laced with Platinum Performance (update on that tomorrow), he enjoys a good back rake more. He'll stand there all day long for that.
The weather should break just a little next week which is good as Izzy will be going to another show on the 28th. I plan on spending a lot of time doing walk to trot to walk transitions next week. Now that I think about it, maybe those 105 degree days are what I need for a better walk.
Triple digits or not, I hope to be back in the saddle this afternoon.
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%: