From Endurance to Dressage
I've been writing so much about Sydney lately that I thought Speedy G deserved a post. He got a few days off after the HDEC show, but then it was back to work.
A week or so ago, I watched my BO take a lesson. She's working on developing the feel of steady contact so her lesson was mostly walking with some trot work. It was a great lesson for me to watch as I am working on confirming my contact at the canter. Watching her develop the feel of steady contact at the walk was like watching the process in slow motion. It was very helpful.
The number one issue that my BO had was letting the horse take the contact from her. She could tell when this would happen because all of sudden she would have straight arms with no bend in her elbows. JL would remind her to bend her elbows and shorten her reins. How many times have I heard those words?
The second issue RM dealt with was not using enough outside rein. Sounds familiar. Seeing it happen from the sidelines helped paint a very clear picture for me as the observer. As soon as RM's lesson was finished, I zipped back over to our barn and saddled up Speedy. We got to work on the canter, specifically to the left where he tends to get really heavy. Keeping in mind what I had just watched, I refused to let him take the contact from me.
I didn't hold him up, but rather I pulsed the inside rein to say let go, and I lifted his outside shoulder with the outside rein. I didn't let him pull the reins forward. If he got too heavy, I added lots of leg, and I made my circle smaller and smaller. When he lightened up, I made the circle larger.
Over the last week, I've worked on our canter departures and transitions back to trot always keeping in mind that he can't take the contact back. When I rode on Tuesday, I was particularly pleased with his canter; it wasn't perfectly uphill, but he has certainly lightened up a bit which makes the turns easier to navigate and the downward transition much softer.
I think we might be making a bit of forward progress! Lesson later today - hopefully we can show JL the improvement.
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%: