From Endurance to Dressage
It's been so long since we've had a real winter that I've forgotten what they look like. Last years's El Niño, a much anticipated event, turned out to be a loser. Yes, it rained a few times, but we barely reached our annual amount of precipitation. According to Bakersfieldnow.com, we've had 17 rain days for this rain season. For us, that's huge.
Meadows Field in Bakersfield only picked up .26”. It was the 17th rain day for the rainfall year, for which Bakersfield is now at 145% of normal. For the first time this year, the statewide snowpack water content averages more than 100% (at 103% for the state and 120% for the southern Sierra). All good news, but the weekly Drought Monitor still shows that the incredible rainfall has not affected our Exceptional Drought at all. That seems hard to believe. Our ground water tables are going up and, with more rain on the docket for next week, this historic drought will indeed be gradually mitigated.
It's hard to believe that our status on the drought monitor hasn't been upgraded yet, but after this next week, it can't do anything but change. There's even more rain predicted. For most of you reading this, if you even got this far, rain must be the least exciting topic on your list of morning reads. For us in California, this drought has changed our lives. Seeing it go would be a good thing.
On my way to the barn yesterday, the ranch owner left me a voicemail telling me to come check out the river. The Kern River, under normal circumstances, is barely more than a small creek. Most of the water is directed to irrigation canals before it reaches town. It does have a good flow, but I can (usually) throw a rock across it without really trying. Not yesterday.
It's several feet higher than normal and about 50 yards wider than it was the day before. Here's another view as the water approaches the back side of the horses' paddocks.
My plan is to ride this morning. It will be only the third or fourth time I've ridden all Christmas vacation. Given that I've ridden all I've wanted for the past five or six winters, I guess it's okay to sit one winter out.
Have a great weekend!
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%: