From Endurance to Dressage
These are not great pictures, but you get the idea. I use my surcingle over an all-purpose pad. I run the long lines (just flat lunge lines) through the middle rings of the surcingle rather than the rings nearer to the withers. I connect the snap end to the halter rings along Sydney's cheeks. The far side line is attached the same way, but I cross it over his back as I "drive." (see below)
We had a really good long-lining session on Wednesday afternoon even though he did get away from me near the start when I asked for the canter. He galloped around wildly for a minute or two until he finally realized that I wasn't attached to the other end. What I liked was that he made large circles around me, and the lines just trailed rather innocuously behind. He didn't get hung up and he didn't step on the lines. And once he stopped, he stopped completely. I patted his shoulder, picked up the lines, and continued on as though nothing had happened.
Why was I pleased? Well, oddly enough, it was because he had the opportunity to escape without any negative consequences. I wasn't afraid, he didn't rear. He ran off some extra energy without either one of us being stressed out about it. Once I had him between the lines again, we did lots more canter-trot-canter transitions. And frankly, they were lovely. I could see him really trying to balance himself and he even did some nice licking and chewing while cantering. YES!
Again, let me stress that he is not (yet) reaching and working over his back like I know he should. For now, I am happy that he is willingly trotting and cantering in a circle without blowing through that outside shoulder.
He's letting me rock the inside rein, and when he gets a wild hair and squeals and acts "humpy," I just sit back and hold that inside rein until he gives. I can't do that nearly as well from the saddle.
This whole process is really giving me a great opportunity to watch him work. I've learned a lot about him by watching his response to my cues, and the lines are definitely giving me a better feel of the reins. He definitely prefers a lighter contact, and simply shortens his neck when there is too much. It is also interesting to note that he works better over his back at the canter than at the trot. And when he does a canter depart, he pushes off very nicely from his hind end.
Another step forward!
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%: