From Endurance to Dressage
Left Lead Canter Can Kiss My Butt!
It's always something. As soon as you fix one thing ... oh, say being relaxed in the arena, a NEW problem shows up.
I guess the good news is that Izzy is getting more and more agreeable about working. For the past several days he's been quite willing to school whatever it is that I'm asking for. That doesn't mean he's doing it well, but I don't care about that. I just want him out there relaxed and trying. We can get the work "correct" later.
I already mentioned that he got turned out on Sunday. In fact, I left him out there for more than an hour. I was DELIGHTED with how happy and playful he was. He never screamed or hollered, and when he did run and play, it was a big 'lopey kind of canter with some playful kicking up of the heels.
When I brought him back in to saddle, he was still blowing a bit and was slightly damp, but I saddled him up anyway. This horse has more energy than any other horse I've owned. He wreaks havoc on his stall, pawing and banging into stuff, and that's with daily riding. I figured my barn owner might appreciate a quiet afternoon.
I always "trail ride" him around the arena to warm up and relax. It was a nice treat to get on him already warmed up. And he was pretty darned relaxed as well. In fact, his whole demeanor was calmer and more submissive. That just tells me that lengthy turn outs are a good way to get rid of his nervous energy. I'll be keeping that in mind.
We started with some trot work. It's not perfect, but I am now able to get some half-way decent stretchy trot from him, and I don't feel like he's constantly running through my aids. In fact, I had to keep asking for more forward. Hallelujah!
The canter work to the right is getting there. That is to say that he can now canter to the right without running into the next county. Our circles are more like 30-meters, but at least we are able to make the turn.
To the left, he can do a very lovely counter canter around and around. Seriously. This is excellent news.
Unfortunately, we still aren't able to get a left lead canter when asked. I can get it maybe once out of ten tries. I was able to get it the other day, and I did get it once on Sunday, but Izzy doesn't know how to pick up a left lead canter when asked.
The good thing is that when he does get a left lead canter, he immediately stretches down and rounds his back. I know it must feel so much better and (easier) than being on the right lead while tracking left.
We're heading down to see Chemaine on Tuesday for a lesson. I am confident that she'll be able to help me once she sees us in person.
8/5/2015 03:40:03 am
He really is such a good looking horse. Glad he's working so well for you.
8/5/2015 11:09:38 am
That's very kind of you to say, SB. Thanks!
8/6/2015 04:38:03 am
Ooh ... I hope Izzy gets it soon! I'm leaving it alone until I ride with Chemaine on Tuesday. Before she rode him a few weeks ago, I had trouble getting any canter. After she rode him, I can now get a right lead, so I am going to trust her to help teach him the left. But thanks for the encouragement. :0)
8/6/2015 04:42:17 am
You said something the other day in your blog that took a load off my mind. It went something like "you don't see horses at 3rd/4th Level struggling with their leads." I was like YEAH!!! Not that I've been anywhere near 3rd or 4th, but what I took from the comment was that he'll get it eventually.
8/6/2015 09:38:22 am
I'll take all the help I can get. :0)
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%: