From Endurance to Dressage
I've Got the Blues
I am sore and tired from getting bucked off last weekend. The school year is winding down which is sucking an excessive amount of mental and emotional energy. And not that he can help it, but the new puppy is also siphoning off his share of my available resources. My disappointing scores from the weekend's show are also jerking me around a little and making me feel a bit like a failure. It's no wonder that my enthusiasm for riding has taken a big hit.
I made it to the barn last Sunday after the show, but I was so sore and battered that all I did was some turn out. I skipped Monday and Tuesday's visits and only showed up on Wednesday to do more turnout and barn chores. It was good to see my boys, but I was still so sore that there was no way I could pop up for a ride. I even cancelled my regular Wednesday lesson.
I am not one to celebrate other's failures, but when I see people that I respect have off days, it makes my own disappointments seem less ... well, disappointing. So I looked up an acquaintance on Center Line Scores to see how she had performed when doing the Training Level tests.
Center Line Scores is an unofficial site (not USDF sponsored) that tracks riders' scores from USDF-rated shows, Training Level and above. Here are her scores so that you can see what I mean. It's interesting to see that she spent a lot of time riding the fourth test at First Level (the old tests).
Here are my own very limited results. Remember that Center Line Scores only tracks results from USDF shows and from only Training Level and up. That means my Introductory scores aren't included in the data which leaves only the scores from the Santa Barbara show. In a few weeks, I hope to see my scores from this past weekend's results there, too. My median will drop, but that's just an incentive to work harder!
This sounds absolutely horrible, but her scores were very similar to mine, if not lower. Maybe there's hope for me yet! Please, please, please don't think that I think I am better than anyone else or that I need to make myself feel better by one-uping someone. It's not like that at all. Instead, this comparison shows me that even very accomplished riders started somewhere. They too deal with disappointing days, but then continue on.
I hope that in a few years my data will look similar to this more advanced rider. There will be some disappointing scores I am sure, but there will also be some high scores that will make me smile - I hope.
5/18/2012 11:25:36 pm
Karen, we all had to start at the bottom, so to speak, and we all have had setbacks that made us wonder why the heck we were doing what we were doing. You are just normal...but don't let that go to your head. lol Next time you may want to round pen Speedy first, just in case he has a bee up his rump again. :-))
5/19/2012 08:44:33 am
He was a little stinker, wasn't he?! He's always so good at shows that his behavior did take me by surprise. I'm going to have to start reading him a wee bit better! :)
5/19/2012 12:43:06 am
That's just your competitive, perfectionist nature coming through! You're doing great! With your personality, you will always excel at everything you put your mind to....but you do tend to beat yourself up a bit along the way! Just rest up (mind and body) and you and Speedy will be ready for that next giant leap forward!
5/19/2012 08:45:31 am
How do I turn into a slacker who doesn't give a crap? :0) Not as a permanent thing, just every now and then!
5/19/2012 07:51:36 am
5/19/2012 08:48:06 am
Thanks, Lori! As of right now, I can look back two years and am happy we've progressed from that point. It's taking a bit longer than I initially thought it would, but at least there are some parts that are moving more quickly than others.
5/19/2012 12:50:53 pm
Sorry you've had such a tough week not that it helps any for me to say it. I sure hope Toby is doing better this week. I had to take both my dogs to the vet the other day. My vet says Emily needed the "butt squeeze". There is this gland that small dogs have to occassionally have cleaned and it nearly made me throw up. I have a weak stomach so when Dr Joe wanted to show me the procedure I respecfully declined. I would rather pay to have it done. Emily is feeling much better and no longer drags her hinny on the ground. Luicky just needed to have a rabies shot. Did you know the dogs can suffer night blindness? Well it's true and it is happening to Lucky due to old age but other than that she is in fine health. Well take care and things will calm down soon for you. Love Mom
5/20/2012 12:12:16 am
Hi, Mom! Pets and kids ... about the same thing. We do the best we can and hope they turn out well. :0)
5/19/2012 11:58:16 pm
The school year is draining me as well.
5/20/2012 12:13:34 am
Amen to that! I had my last duty this past week: 7:50 - 8:20 and then 3:05 - 3:15. It makes for a loooong week. BUT, it was my last one for the year! :0)
5/20/2012 07:00:05 am
I have lunch duty every day plus a short AM and PM duty. If this job was only about teaching, it would be a piece of cake.
5/20/2012 11:50:40 am
Wow, Val, that IS a lot of duty. And you are so right ... the actual teaching part is the easiest part of the day. It is the numerous meetings, extra duties, conferences, and paperwork that take up too much of our time!
5/27/2012 10:39:10 am
One thing the list doesn't show is that this person rode four different horses to get all these scores. Two of those horses had to qualify for the championship show at first level, thus all the first level, test four scores. ;)
5/27/2012 10:54:39 am
Thanks for sharing that, Donna! In an effort to protect the rider's identity, I didn't post the list that showed horses' names. But your explanation does clarify the numerous rides at one level. I wondered if it was because the jump to the next level was a "big" one. In any case, this rider certainly has a record worth admiring!
5/28/2012 11:42:35 am
No problem! Also, since the championship show is only down in So Cal every other year, many of those scores were earned in the "off season" as well, just for practice. Some times that's just how it works out. Frankly, I've found second level to be the trickiest, with the jump from first to second being the hardest. So you're correct there! Third is a piece of cake after all the time at second. I think it's because the horse finally achieves the collection they need for third once they figure out how to carry themselves properly in the laterals.
5/28/2012 11:48:10 am
There's a great article in the June USDF Connection that talks about moving to Second Level. I feel like we're on the right path and will gets there eventually! I have a hard time believing that Third Level can be viewed as easy, but it's an encouraging thought! :0)
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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
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: