From Endurance to Dressage
Well, it seems as though Izzy is back on a more regular body work schedule. For a while, he was getting work done every three months. After a year of that, we were able to go five to six months between visits. Suddenly, he's needing work every three to four weeks. I am willing to get the work done, but it's definitely making a dent in my checking account. Oh well, it's only money.
This visit was not only unexpected, but it revealed something unexpected. Izzy had work done three and a half weeks ago when he bonked his head on his shelter's roof support. After that visit, he seemed a bit sore for a few days, but then he worked out of it. This past week, after feeling fantastic for two solid weeks, he suddenly let me know that bending right was becoming a no go. And when Izzy says NO GO, he means it. I have learned to read this horse, so it didn't take much for me to feel that itty bitty resistance start to build. So even though Izzy had had work just three and a half weeks ago, I called CC. He came out that same afternoon, Friday.
I have been working with CC for at lest a decade, and in that time, I have tried to be a good student. I've learned to really listen to my horse, and I've learned how to feel where and when things aren't quite right. This time, I was dead certain it was ribs, and more left than right. CC agreed with my evaluation. Izzy needed a bit of work on his C7, when doesn't he?, his thoracic vertebrae, and of course his ribs. What was surprising was that CC commented on the fact that I must be riding Izzy better because the soreness seemed to stem more from collection than fighting for softness.
Well, thank you very much, sir! That was great news because that is what we've been working towards. Izzy has indeed begun to allow me to move his front end around - hello, renvers, which means we are now searching for more energy from behind. CC is a very knowledgeable horsemen, so when he makes a comment about why my horse is sore, I listen. He has never steered me wrong.
Even three years ago, doing body work on Izzy meant we'd be standing there for at least an hour. He was always a pretzel, knotted up from poll to tail. These days, CC gets Izzy feeling great within fifteen minutes. We spend more time talking about my riding and how to be better than CC spends putting Izzy back together. I make sure to learn as much as I can during those conversations because they make me a better rider which ultimately helps my horse.
As CC walked towards his truck, I promised I'd call in three to four weeks. He told me to quit breaking my horse. I am working on it.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%