From Endurance to Dressage
Last week, Izzy and I worked with Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, at a neighbor's house. I can't even begin to express how proud of him I was. He started off curled into a little ball of tension, but within five minutes he was listening and trying.
He gave one or two spooks in the far corner, but after that, he was all business. I asked Chemaine Hurtado, if I could just ride while she offered feedback. Izzy's been working so well at home that what he needs most right now is the opportunity to work somewhere that's not home. Chemaine readily agreed.
I basically rode him like I would if I were alone at home. I asked for the leg yield, haunches in, shoulder in, and then played around with some baby canter half pass. The more complicated the task, the harder this horse works. Chemaine encouraged me with comments aimed to reinforce what I was already doing or offered suggestions for improving the connection and stretch down.
Izzy never said no. Sure, he was a little tense, but he kept his focus on me and tried to do whatever I asked of him. The longer he worked, the looser his back became.
Speedy needs to get his rear in gear. Izzy's butt is always in gear, but he holds so much tension in his top line that he has trouble opening up his stride.
For the past several months, that's all I've really worked on - stretching his back. A few weeks ago, I started asking him to ever so slightly lengthen his stride.
I am not getting an actual trot lengthening per se, but his stride is getting longer, and he's spending a bit more time in the air.
When I saw this attempt at lengthening his stride, I squealed. This is what I've been able to get at home by myself, but this is the first time he's offered such a relaxed trot away from home.
The dude is going places!
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%: