From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy got a lot of turn out time this weekend, but no ride. I always find it funny that I have to turn out a horse who lives on an eighth of an acre, but I do. The turnout is the grassy alley between Speedy and Dollar's quarter acre and the mares' super-sized pastures. While Speedy loves the grass, he loves chatting up his ladies even more, especially his girl Sarah.
The biggest reason Speedy didn't get ridden was because I just didn't feel like it. I had had a pretty disappointing week and was feeling very blue. I simply didn't have the emotional energy to ride a second horse. On top of that we had a family lunch on Saturday, and then we went to the county fair on Sunday. While riding normally brings me joy, spending time with family and then going someplace so happy did a ton to boost my spirits. By Monday morning, I was feeling recharged.
It might have been the bull ride that perked me up. There is nothing like watching a chunky, middled age woman make a fool of herself. I think the bull was set to "kid speed" because I stayed on way past 8 seconds, but it was still hard! I eventually came off, but I did it gracefully.
When we hit the fair, we go for the food and the exhibits. A friend of ours always enters every food category there is, so we spent time reading all of the labels looking for his entries. I think we found most of them.
We're not interested in the rides or games of course, but we do love the various other exhibits, particularly the animals. We spend an inordinate amount of time watching the 4-H kids show their animals and wandering through the barns. We love the cows (dairy and beef), sheep, goats, fowl, and pigs. Well, my husband doesn't like the pigs, but I think they're hilarious.
We also enjoy the non-farm animals. In the past, the Budweiser Clydesdales have made appearances, although it has been a number of years, and sometimes there are insect or reptile displays, but not this year. We did watch the duck and pig races, which are always entertaining. There was a stunt dog show this year, but they did their show after we left.
Once I spotted the camels and zebra, we hurried over. I've ridden a camel a couple of times as a teenager, so I didn't need to embarrass myself a second time, but I did stand and watch for quite some time. For a small fee - I think it was $5, you could feed a bowl of carrots to the camels and zebra. I didn't feel the need, but I watched as a family of littles fed them.
I've seen zebras at the zoo of course, but it never bores me to see them up close. This zebra, however, looked pretty bored with us and the carnival in general. I guess when you've seen one county fair, you've seen them all. I wish my Big Brown Horse would be as indifferent as those camels and zebra were.
I don't know how big or interesting your county fair might be, but we sure enjoyed ours.
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%: