From Endurance to Dressage
Not to panic - nobody got hurt and no one's confidence got rocked. In fact, hopefully Izzy's confidence grew, but I won't know that for a while.
I had a lesson on Monday evening where Izzy threw a forty-five minute temper tantrum. It was actually kind of funny, and I found myself laughing at his antics. Even JL had to grin at the noises he was making.
I am not sure what set him off as he's been working really nicely for me. I suspect it had something to do with JL simply being there. Each time she's been in the middle of the ring, Izzy's had to work a little bit harder.
Somehow, he got secret papers informing him that his mission for the day was to avoid the contact in any way possible. My mission was to be right there with him for every single stride. I won.
For most of the lesson, Izzy flung his entire body around trying to avoid my contact. And before it gets suggested that I was pulling back or driving him to the bit harshly, my "eyes on the ground" reassured me repeatedly that I had a really good feel for the contact, and it was Izzy who was doing all of the pulling.
When he flung his head from side to side, I kept the reins taut without any loops. When he curled under, I widened my hands so that he couldn't get a loop in the reins that way either. When he got light up front or tried to charge forward, I turned him into the circle and sent him forward with my outside leg.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Add in lots of groans, grunts, squeals, and snorting, too. By the time we finished up with a marching walk, my arms were over-cooked spaghetti.
Even though Izzy was being a total pain in the patootie. I never felt one moment of fear. All of his hijinks were about expressing his opinion. None of it was dirty. Sydney was the king of dirty, so I know the difference. You might think that I would ride defensively after the rough time I had with that horse, but it's just not happening.
Izzy does not give me the feeling that he wants to bolt or rear. He's crabbing sideways and hopping up, but I don't think he has it in him to be a total jackass; he's too lazy, and that is all too much work. On the flip side, I am also a far better rider than I was before I got Sydney. That horse taught me a lot about channeling a horse forward without putting on the brakes and using the gas pedal at the same time.
I felt good about our work on Monday while I was riding, but by yesterday, I was feeling disappointed. Baby horses are hard work, and I had forgotten that. We have another lesson this evening. We'll see if Izzy is a quick learner or if he's a bit slow on the uptake. I am hoping he sees JL standing there and thinks long and hard about being naughty.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%