From Endurance to Dressage
This must be the season for baring it all. A few weeks ago, I shared that post about my fear of being a hack, this week, another let it all hang out.
I've been doing this dressage thing for quite a while now. I did my first show back in the summer of 2010. Holy Moly, has it been that long? Since I'd never shown before, and since Speedy had only ever done endurance, we started at the very first step - Introductory Level A.
We had great fun, but I wanted to move up a level. You've heard this story a thousand times. Making it to Training Level was my all encompassing goal. Once we hit Training Level, I wanted to get to First Level. That's where I thought you became a legitimate Dressage Rider. Making it to Second Level wasn't even on my RADAR.
From my lowly perspective, Second Level riders had to be amazing. You could only get there if you had a fantastic horse and you yourself had an amazing seat. HAHAHAHAHA. Boy, was I ever stupid!
I guess what I am trying to say is that if I can make it to Second Level, YOU can make it to Second Level. I am living proof that the riders at Second Level don't have to have an amazing seat, although I am sure it would help, and an average, plucky horse can get the job done. He doesn't have to be a fancy warmblood.
All of this occurred to me on Saturday while I was riding Speedy bareback with just a halter. We were hacking out around the neighborhood after a week off. It had rained nearly all week, and I thought some time off after our debut at Second was warranted. Since I can just hop on him bareback with a halter after a week off, that means that he is amazing. Just saying.
So there we were tootling around with the lead rope draped loosely when my plucky and amazing Second Level horse launched forward. I said he was amazing, not perfect. I grabbed wildly for my rope and managed to bring him back to a walk, but I was unbalanced and knew I was coming off. Cringing, because I knew it was going to hurt, I dug deep and tried to stay on anyway.
Instead of hitting the dirt, I landed on my feet with Speedy's lead rope in hand. I had to laugh. There I was, proof yet again that Second Level riders are no better than that endurance rider giving Intro Level A a try.
Oh, Third Level, where are yoooou!
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%: