From Endurance to Dressage
It Isn't (Lesson) Wednesday
Not bad news ... but I am skipping my lessons for the next two weeks, yesterday's and the next.
You're quitting/giving up/caving?
No, no, no. I am just taking a very well-thought out break. I think I am on to something with Sydney, and I want to continue the work I am doing without interrupting the routine. When I finished riding Sydney on Monday, he and I were both happy and relaxed. I had done the long-lining followed by a short and pleasant under saddle session. It was all good, Baby!
And then ... I gave a heavy sigh when I realized Wednesday was only two days away. What would happen then? How could I long-line before the lesson? Would I have time? Would there be an explosion back in JL's arena if I didn't? What if she directed to me to shorten his reins and I got tense because shortening is when he gets tense? Crud. Said with a thud.
I got that bad taste in my mouth. You know the one? It happens when I have to do something I don't want to do. Right there, on the spot, I decided I had to tell JL I needed a few weeks off. Not to quit riding. Not to ride with someone else. But just a another week or so to work through this issue with Sydney.
I have found through earlier experiences that if I quit trusting my gut, things go to sh*t. My intuition is very good. When I really listen to my instincts, good things usually result. I can only improve my riding by improving my feel. And that's what's happening with Sydney right now. We're feeling each other out in a kind of dance. He's deciding whether or not to trust me, and I am learning his moves. What does he like? What makes him nervous?
Eyes on the ground are a GREAT thing, but sometimes we need to almost close our own eyes and really listen to our horses. That's where I am am right at this moment. I am listening very hard to what Sydney is trying to tell me. And I feel that if it gets quiet enough, I'll be able to hear him and move forward.
By the way, Wednesday's (non-lesson) schooling work turned out to be very successful! More about that tomorrow.
3/7/2012 10:05:38 pm
Instincts are good! You ride him girl!! xoxo
3/8/2012 07:48:16 am
Thanks, Judy! :0)
3/8/2012 07:48:47 am
3/8/2012 07:49:30 am
I was a little nervous about it, but I knew it was the right thing to do. She was fine with it too.
3/8/2012 09:09:35 am
Only Sydney can teach you the feel that he wants. I agree with your instincts. :)
3/8/2012 09:32:41 pm
I took three months off from lessons last summer with Ava, just so we could get to know each other better without outside pressure. It was great. I learned a lot about who Ava is, and how she thinks. And when I started back with lessons, my trainer said that she was impressed with how well we worked together. Ava no longer scared the crap outta me, so it was a lot easier to ride her the way she needed to be ridden to help her learn how to use herself.
3/8/2012 09:32:00 pm
Thanks, Mia. We haven't had any issues over this last week and a half. I haven't asked for anything more than trot work, but even that has been done with more softness. I may not be doing it "right," but I know he is happier with me right now.
3/20/2012 10:54:15 am
Thank you. I am not a quitter, so "quitting," even for a few weeks was hard to do, but it has been a great decision!
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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
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: