From Endurance to Dressage
A little bit of California Barn Life ...
The neighboring property has/had chickens. Over the last year the chickens have either escaped, been killed by coyotes, or simply succumbed to some other chicken ailment.
I am not particularly fond of chickens, and if the truth were told, I am a little afraid of them. It's a long story involving a rooster and a little girl. You can probably piece it together. I do, however, very much like eggs for breakfast, and I also like that chickens are excellent at pest control.
The neighbor sort of gave up on chicken husbandry which left the sole survivor free to roam and make her own way in the world. She has decided that our barn fits her lifestyle quite well, thank you very much. My barn owner calls her Free Range, while I call her Little Red Hen. I taught kindergarten for seven years and couldn't resist the obvious moniker.
Anyhoo ... Little Red Hen, LRH for short, spends her days cluck, clucking in and around the barn and yard. A few weeks ago I found an egg shell fragment in Sydney's feeder and wondered how on earth it found its way there. Remember, I am afraid of chickens and not particularly knowledgeable about their comings and goings. A week or so later, I found an entire egg in Sydney's feeder, although it was cracked and oozing. All of I sudden I connected the dots ... hen ... eggs ... doh!
From then on, I started paying close attention and kept my eyes open for other eggs. LRH has rewarded my diligent searches with the occasional egg. Once I knew where I might find them, I began to check daily for her little offerings.
Saturday's egg was probably the best find. When I arrived at the barn, I carefully poked through Sydney's feeder in search of an egg, but LRH hadn't been in the mood. I rode him, rode Speedy, and was preparing to fill Sydney's beet pulp bucket when I saw a freshly laid egg nestled in his hay. It was still warm to the touch and was super clean.
I know it seems silly, but I have very much enjoyed searching out LRH's eggs. Each one she leaves is gathered gratefully and carried home gently to be eaten for breakfast. Her little presence at the barn has added a delightfully fun element to my routine.
Thanks, Little Red Hen. Keep 'em coming!
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read