From Endurance to Dressage
I never want to discount anyone's summer heat because hot is hot, but man, has it been hot here. Overall, we've had a "mild" summer even though we broke some heat records and tied a few others. Our second heat wave of the summer, defined as three or more consecutive days of 100 degrees or higher, lasted somewhere around twenty-nine days. That heat wave is now the 5th longest in Bakersfield's history. And yes, we get the irony - BAKErsfield, but we love it when it's 70 in February.
This heat wave, the third of the summer, is holding on pretty steadily, but the temperature has been hotter, and our morning lows have been high as well. During most of the summer, the daytime high doesn't really affect me as I ride my horses in the morning. Now that I'm back to teaching, I ride at 4:00, just before we reach our daytime high. You read that right; our hottest part of the day is between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.
I prefer the heat over the cold, but when it's 104 with the possibility of climbing a few more degrees as I ride, I have to decline. If not for my sake, then for the health of my horses. This past week, it was well over a 100 every day. All I could do was give cold showers and slurpy buckets of wet beet pulp. On Friday, Izzy and I played in the hose, and he thought it was hilarious.
I dragged the hose into both horses' paddocks for their showers. It was so hot that mud was not even a consideration; I didn't even think about tying either horse up. Speedy is not a fan of cold showers, but even he let me hold his fly mask long enough to shower him. He let me know that he wasn't exactly volunteering to stand there, but he did let me get most of him wet. Izzy of course had no thought of scooting away.
We're going to a show on Sunday, and this week is predicted to be just as hot as last week. My plan is to hack around the property searching for the shady bits. Hopefully we can at least leg yield a little or do some turns on the haunches while we walk. There's not much else as I can do when it's this hot.
Come on fall, we're ready for you.
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%: