From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy Magical? (part 1 of 2)
For the first few weeks of December, I thought that maybe no, Izzy wasn't so fabulous. You do not know how hard it was to hold on to the positive memories I had from looking at him in November. I so wanted to pour my heart out and have a blogger's pity party.
But, I hate to over-react, especially publicly, so I only expressed my concerns to my husband and JL. My husband, bless his heart, simply told me to relax, give Izzy time, and then reminded me that he has never picked out a bad horse. So glad I married that man!
JL was equally calm. She reminded me that Izzy is very young and green and that a "settling in" period was to be expected. She encouraged me to work on a plan for evaluating his progress and make decisions when I had more information.
So what was I worrying about? Well … over a two week period, I asked Debbie Davis, the trainer, for updates. I should have just let them do their job without needing to hear the nuts and bolts. The problem was that secretly, I had hoped that I had bought the most naturally talented horse on the planet. My new horse was going to be piaffing and passaging out of sheer joy. Uh-huh. Idiot.
The first report included phrases like … "a handful, anxious, difficult, TB tendencies," etc. Later, the update included ... "showing improvement, but still needs to be worked in the round pen, lots of pent-up energy, some bad habits. If his focus can be channeled, he has the potential to be a nice gelding."
As George Takei would say, Oh my. None of that sounded like a horse who was piaffing and passaging out of sheer joy. On the plus side, there were at least photos proving that he could be ridden.
So, for three weeks I fretted and worried. Izzy Zweibrücker wasn't pooping rainbows which meant I was going to have to do this the old-fashioned way: lots and lots of time and patience. I shook off the worry, took a deep breath, and soldiered on.
Chemaine, my dressage trainer on the coast, said something that reminded me of my original plan which was to buy a diamond in the rough. Since I couldn't afford a finished warmblood, I had bought the next best thing: a green bean warmblood who had excellent breeding, the right conformation, and no baggage. I've worked with a lot of green horses. I can do this.
Stay tuned … part 2 tomorrow!
12/22/2014 10:59:18 pm
He's very handsome!
12/22/2014 11:03:59 pm
Aw, thanks, Alanna. I think he's cute, but I have some kind of owner blindness: I never can see the "fanciness" of my own horses. I am just so danged practical that I value function over form. :0)
He IS a diamond in the rough.
12/23/2014 01:29:34 am
Aw … thank you, Mia. Yes, you are right which I keep telling myself too. While Izzy had a great start (he traveled for his inspection as an 18 month old, was started for 60 days with a dressage trainer, and ridden for four months after), he has done nothing outside of his pasture since the spring of 2013.
12/23/2014 12:48:00 am
Hi Karen! Izzy is a VERY handsome horse and I really like him. I saw the potential in him way back in October and actually told Edyta about him and thought he would be perfect for her. She passed him up! Give him time!!! I think he is an awesome diamond in the rough for anyone willing to put in the time and energy. And you definitely proved that with Sydney. I think Izzy could be the ONE!
12/23/2014 12:49:51 am
By the way, I'm really looking forward to following your progress with this guy!!!
12/23/2014 01:36:16 am
Thank you, Tina. :0)
I have to say, I thought this was so adorable. I completely, completely felt like this when I started with my horse. M was a track reject at two and sound, so obviously he would be preternaturally talented and make me look like a god like being. However, I too mucked no rainbows. But I've loved my pony journey, with all the antics and bucking. I can wait to hear more about Izzy as he progresses!!
12/23/2014 11:04:12 pm
Thanks for sharing, Nicole. I have never had a horse that didn't work out ... until Sydney. All of my horses started as jerks, that's what you get when you buy project horses. But in every case, I've been able to help create super solid citizens that went on to have a great life. I am just hoping that Sydney was the exception. I need all of the success stories that I can read, so thanks for sharing yours. :0)
He looks really fabulous in the photos! Sounds like the trainer is trying to manage your expectations and her descriptions/updates are exactly what I'd expect from a horse who is young, athletic, talented, and has been standing around for a year. Looking forward to part 2!
12/23/2014 11:05:24 pm
You're right Sarah, but I still would have preferred the whole pooping rainbows thing. Sometimes the journey just feels sooooooo long. :0)
12/23/2014 04:16:19 am
Baby horses will humble you in a hurry! He sure looks handsome though, even if he is being a little cheeky.
12/23/2014 11:06:27 pm
Cheeky!!!!! HAHAHA - that's my new word. Love it because it sounds naughty and fabulous at the same time. :0)
The second Indy was born, I had big plans/visions of how her life was going to be. Four year old classes, here we come! Then she was spooky, broncy, and a bit of a flat out witch. On top of that she was physically immature. Yeah, that dream flew out of the door fast. It has taken three times as long as I expected to get to where she is, which isn't very far in the whole scheme of things. Even with all of that, no trainer ever said to give up on her. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The general consensus was to be patient, that she would be worth it in the long run.
12/23/2014 11:07:59 pm
OMG - thanks for sharing that because just yesterday I was thinking ... Maybe I should just breed my next horse so that I can have perfection right away because I'll make sure to do EVERYTHING right. Thanks for saving me six years of time and zillions of dollars! :0)
12/24/2014 12:20:48 am
It sounds like you are a bit shell-shocked from working with Sydney. Once you start riding Izzy regularly you will forget that feeling, because I can't imagine they could be anything alike.
12/24/2014 12:37:02 am
I am, Val, I am. And I hope you are right. Everyone else seems to agree with you. I am looking forward to getting on him mostly to shake off the "what ifs." :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
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2023 Completed …
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: