From Endurance to Dressage
It feels like a first show for Sydney, even though it's not. Last September I took him to this same venue where I rode him Intro A & B, and then we went to a schooling show in April at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, While it's not his first show, it is the first rated show where we'll canter.
I ride Intro C at 8:46 and Training Level Test 1 at 9:44 which means I'll be pulling out of the barn by 6:00 a.m. I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning tack and braiding.
Braiding .. aarrgghhh ... seriously. Worst invention EVER! This time, I skipped the bands and tried to go traditional. I used yarn and did the tie the braid in a knot method.
I had been pulling Sydney's mane a little each week, but when I tried to do a practice braid in the spring, I realized that I had pulled it too short so I quit pulling in April. It is now the perfect length for this style of braid.
The first one looked pretty nice. The next six or seven went haywire, but as I neared the end, I finally figured out how to keep the "button" round and straight. Next time I do it, it will be better.
They may not be the perfect braids, but I am not embarrassed by them either. Sydney's braids are the least of my worries. Not looking like a giraffe careening out of control is of far more concern!
My arms were pretty tired by the time I got to his forelock. I am not too thrilled with that braid. I actually do a pretty decent forelock braid, but both of us were hot, tired, and bored by the time I finished the button braids so I just left it as is. Next time, It will be tighter and neater.
With a fly sheet on 24/7, Sydney stays quite clean and shiny. I rode before I did the braids. I was prepared to give him a bath, but this is what he looked like after I had ridden and swiped the brush over the sweat marks; pretty clean and shiny, huh?!
By the time you read this, I'll probably be done with both tests already and possibly heading home. I have three goals for the day: enjoy myself first and foremost (why do it if it's not fun?); complete both tests; and get some of the relaxation that we have at home. I know he can't give me a home level of relaxation - I can't be as relaxed for him either. I am just hoping for some relaxation.
Oh, after I get home from the show, I am trailering both boys over to Rancho Rio Stables to have my saddle refit for both boys. I'll definitely report back on that and show results will also follow. Wish us luck!
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%