From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy Meets His Dressage Trainer, Part 2
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!
7/18/2015 04:48:11 am
She is VERY encouraging, and even when she needs to point out an error, like when she mentions that I am not using my core enough, she's very constructive about it.
7/18/2015 06:51:09 am
I've been riding with Chemaine for several years. She's who I see when we show in the Ventura area. This was just the first time she'd seen Izzy. I wish I could see her weekly, but the 5 hour round trip drive is a bit much to do every week. I am hoping I can start making the trip once a month, but we'll see. :0)
7/19/2015 11:27:15 pm
Thanks, Teresa. It was really hard to put up so many BAD photos, including the videos. While the blogosphere can be a supportive group of a people, it can also be very judgmental. And while we all talk about our struggles, most of us don't really want everyone to have an actual image to support those struggles. Sheesh, it's hard enough as it is.
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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%: