From Endurance to Dressage
Less Than Perfect
I am really worrying away at our first show of the season, our debut at Second Level. After some rides, I feel that we might eke out a 60%. Most days though, I know we'll be lucky to get a 58%. Back when we were slogging through Training Level, I never felt ashamed or embarrassed by a sub 60%. I was on a journey, and I knew it was a long one. I felt as though the effort and dedication we were demonstrating counted for just as much as the score.
While most of our First Level scores were above 60%, we also had some scores in the 50s. I wasn't happy about them, but I certainly didn't feel embarrassed. They simply reflected where we were at that moment.
Over the weekend, I finally shrugged my shoulders and accepted the fact that we're starting at the bottom once again. We're very likely going to earn a 56% and oh well. I can always choose to simply school at home for the next year until we're more confirmed at the level, but I know that won't work for us. Showing helps me get better. It confirms what we can do and reveals what we can't.
While I really hope we can earn enough 6s to at least get close to a 60%, I feel a bit of relief that I don't have to knock it out of the park. No one cares more than me, and I am okay with just doing the best we can.
But really, you know I want that 60%!
My first attempt at Second Level, I got a 59.85% from a VERY generous schooling show judge, at a show AT the barn I was boarding at (home court advantage), and with a trainer helping at the warm-up. So I had ALL the advantages possible, and I still struggled like mad in the test.
2/7/2018 05:51:53 am
Wait, that sounded like I was bragging about my score. I was trying to convey that I *should* have gotten much lower due to how horrible it went, and it was horrible even WITH all the advantages possible. I really should've gotten much closer to a 55% for as crappy as mine was. I lucked out on judges that day.
2/7/2018 06:48:36 am
HAHAHA! You are so funny, Mia! I totally got your point. I cringed at the 59.85% though - that is the WORST score to get. What was that, a HALF point from the 60%? I'd rather have a 56% than a 59%. LOL
Whenever I move up in height or start riding a new horse, I feel like in some ways it's "back to the bottom" and I'm starting over. While that's not really true, it's easy to get down on yourself -- but you know what? Moving up is HARD! You're doing things you've never done before and the fact that you're working hard to improve should make you proud.
2/7/2018 06:50:33 am
Thank you, Tracy! It is hard to move up especially after having a relatively successful season last year - several show high points, a regional reserve champion, lots of great scores ... I am preparing for the suckiness of this year. LOL
2/7/2018 07:29:03 am
Ehhhh, don't worry so much about your score. Get out there and do your best... the first time out at a new level is always a bit rocky. The important thing is that you're DOING it. Smile and have a good time, and tell Speedy he's awesome!
Be proud of where you are!! Moving up to 2nd is such a big step! Nobody should expect fantastic scores off the bat. It's hard training on your own, and not having a super elastic mover etc. Good for you to get out there! I'll do the very same once I feel we've been stuck at 1st level for too long. And yep, I'm prepared for maybe not breaking 60 in the beginning either :)
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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%: