From Endurance to Dressage
Kids, Poop, and a Dirty Bridle
There's a lot of "littles" going on with me right now; a little of this and a little of that. None of it's worth its own blog post, but jam three of them together, and you got yourself something to read.
First up - poop. A few days ago, I was worrying about the ploppiness of Izzy's poop while being tacked up. After just one day of being back on the Platinum Performance, he pooped a delightfully solid "thunk" of a pile as I tacked up. It was so wonderfully firm that I thought long and hard about taking photographic evidence of its robustness. Common sense won out - who wants to see pictures of poop? Instead, you get a picture of equine butts.
Knowing that you're going to be doing a bridle adjustment forces you to more closely examine what you think is a relatively clean bridle. Holy heck. In the light of day, Izzy's bridle revealed itself to be a crusty, hot mess. I have never had a horse that was so hard on his tack.
I brought it home to clean and then decided to measure it to see what size I will need to order for the double. Riding Warehouse provides a link to a Bobby's Tack image that shows the measurements for every single piece of their bridles. Pure genius. My current bridle is almost an exact match for Bobby's full sized bridles. My cheek pieces are slightly longer, but otherwise, a perfect match. If anyone wants to get me the double bridle early, I'll take it in horse size, please.
And then there was a kid. Reggie, the ranch's live-in caretaker, has several children who come out now and then to help or just hang out. Reggie has been telling me how much his youngest daughter admires Izzy. She's been a bit shy and hasn't wanted to approach me, so I told Reggie to tell her that it wouldn't bother me if she said hi.
He must have delivered the message because on Tuesday, she marched her ten year old self up and boldly proclaimed that she wanted to ride the white one. Smart girl. Even I don't usually want to ride the brown one - just kidding (sort of).
After conferring with her dad, we put Izzy away and gave Miss Evelyn a quick lesson in horse grooming and tacking up. This was Evelyn's first real encounter with a horse, and she was plenty nervous. The girl must have the bug though because after I showed her how to pick up Speedy's feet, she bravely motored around cleaning all four, twice!
We threw on the ranch owner's western saddle, and Reggie helped his daughter climb up. She was very nervous and insisted that her dad hold on to her which made Speedy quite nervous. After a few minutes of walking in a small circle, Evelyn let out a breath and Speedy followed suit.
Before long, we were tooling around the ranch. I led Speedy with his lead rope, but I attached a set of endurance reins to his rope halter that Evelyn finally found the courage to pick up. We eventually made it into the arena where she learned to pull right to go right and pull left to go left. She learned how to pull back to stop and thump her legs to go.
It was truly the most fun that Speedy has had in quite a while. Evelyn even had a look at my riding calendar and quite firmly announced that she'd be back on the 23rd (she was) and hoped that I'd be there because she wanted to ride again (she did).
I am a little worried about Reggie; I see a pony in Evelyn's future, and I am not sure dad is ready for that!
11/25/2016 10:02:36 am
Some of the most fun we have had with our horses was doing what you just did, helping kids to appreciate horses. We must have put 30 kids and probably 20 adults through "the program". Boy, do I miss it! Anyway, I hope you included the "one rein stop" as part of it.
11/27/2016 05:15:31 pm
I always show riders the one rein stop, but Evelyn isn't strong enough for that right now. Her feet didn't even reach down to the stirrups. Instead, I showed her how to pull back on the reins to get him to stop, but I never let the lead rope go. When she did the steering, I walked at Speedy's hip with the lead rope in hand :0)
11/25/2016 10:05:39 am
Yay! That's all, just Yay!
11/29/2016 11:26:00 am
This is so sweet!
Comments are closed.
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%: