From Endurance to Dressage
Over the last few months, those words have become my mantra. I don't like to focus on the difficulties of life as they are never-ending. Instead, I like to look from each good thing to the next. After all, those are the things in life that bring us joy and a sense of well-being.
With that being said, holy hell! We are having a string of particularly stinky life experiences. I am not sure where they started, but for me, the list goes back to the contractor we hired this past summer...
He never finished the job, so we recently sued him in small claims court. We won our case, but guess what? The state of California doesn't have a way to force the defendant to pay up, so we're out of luck as far as getting our money back. It is what it is.
In the fall, I reached my limit with Sydney. After three years of hard work, including MANY lessons with five trainers, I had to admit that the relationship was over. And even though I could have used the money from selling him to help me get another horse, I opted to give him away. Little did I know how tight my finances would get over the next few months. It is what it is.
In November, I bought a new horse, Izzy. Wanting the best start for him, I shipped him off to a nearby trainer where he ended up with a rather large laceration on his leg that will take months to heal. Fortunately, it's doing quite well, but the money I spent (wasted?) on the "training" and the cost of caring for the wound have definitely left me feeling pretty broke. And yet again, it is what it is.
That's all old news. Believe it not, there's more. For the past few months we've noticed a wet spot on the garage floor. We searched for a leak, but no water was coming from either the hot water heater or the washing machine. Fortunately, my husband noticed some weird staining on the outside wall. After closer inspection, we discovered that the water was leaking inside the wall.
My husband called the plumber who declared the price to fix it would either be $350 or $1,350, depending on how much work would be involved. I'll take door number one please. Guess again. Do you hear the sound of a giant buzzer? That's for me, so say it with me, It is what it is.
All of that is just life. Money comes in and goes out, just like the tide. Life continues on, and we make the best of it. But then, one more thing landed on my plate. Out of nowhere, Speedy is again lame on the right front. I don't need a vet to diagnosis it; it's the same injury he suffered last January. I spent one whole day on the verge of tears, frustrated beyond all belief that yet again, my move to First Level was being thwarted.
I know he healed completely the first time. He had three months of hand walking and slow rehab. After my vet cleared him to get back to work, he had a very busy show season without a single moment of lameness. In fact, after the first three weeks of trying to diagnosis him last year, he never took another lame step until this week.
I don't feel that the injury didn't heal. I am certain that he has just re-tweaked it in the exact same way he did the first time - pacing and whirling in his paddock. The type of collateral ligament injury that he sustained before (deep in the hoof capsule) is often a result of twisting. He was perfectly sound one day, and the next day he was lame at the walk. And as before, there is no heat, no swelling, no laceration ... just a walk that looks stiff and painful.
I've had to work really hard to shift gears. I had to call and drop out of the Christian Schacht clinic that was happening at the end of the month, and the two shows planned for March are definitely out. I'm just going to take this one day at a time. We'll go back to hand walking. He is sound again at the walk, so I'll start the rehab process again. Until then, I have Izzy to school and Austin and my barn owner's horse to ride.
It is what it is.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%