From Endurance to Dressage
I am pretty sure that Chemaine would never tell a client that her horse couldn't benefit from some dressage training since dressage is good for every horse. Even so, I was a bit worried that she would have doubts about Izzy's potential as a dressage horse that could move through the levels.
Just based on Chemaine's smile and attitude, I don't think I have anything to worry about. That doesn't mean it's going to be quick or easy, but if I keep chugging along, there's no reason that Izzy can't be a solid dressage horse. Whew! That lifted a huge burden off my shoulders.
Once I got on Izzy, Chemaine had me make a few changes and keep a few things in mind. While she recognized and appreciated my effort at having a lighter seat, she quite clearly told me to sit up. You'll hear her in the video yell at me to "quit riding him like a jumper! Ride him like you ride Speedy."
I am not going to apologize for my riding, just don't be shocked. I am actually proud of myself for getting on as Izzy was a fireball ready to explode. Chemaine is so good at building a rider's confidence though, that I got on and just did what she said.
You'll hear her also tell me to regulate his speed with my core. I was trying, believe me, but he was making it quite difficult to coordinate all of my aids. I had to keep an opening outside rein, a softening inside rein, weight on my inside seat bone, and a strong core to hold him to a rhythm all while his engine was revved and needing a place to go.
When I first got on, he tried some of his don't wanna tricks, but with Chemaine's encouragement, I gave a solid jerk of the rein with a firm NO! There were several of those moments, but there were also some really good moments where I was able to get him soft and stretching.
Here's a quick burst of photos that shows him spooking and cutting the corner:
While there was a lot of that herky-jerky all over the place stuff, there were some better moments as well.
And before I get too much "advice," this was at mach 10 on a horse who has very little world experience. I was thrilled that he was even rideable on his first real trip away from home - those trail rides sure helped!
KG did manage to get a little bit of video. They're fairly short, but you'll get a sense of what Chemaine was trying to help me with.
So ... Chemaine thinks I have a nice horse, and I was able to walk, trot, and canter Izzy the next day like a REAL horse! More on that later.
It was a good week!
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%: