From Endurance to Dressage
Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer of Symphony Dressage Stables, was here for a clinic this weekend. I rode Speedy first, and then it was the big brown horse's turn. It took us a while, but Izzy really showed some relaxation and maturity for our first lesson. Nothing fancy happened, no cool exercises were learned, but Izzy behaved and showed glimpses of the horse he is going to become.
When I first hopped on, he was pretty good, but then he got sassy. He balked, he hopped up, he gave a good effort at a bolt, and he kept his back tight. But. He wasn't afraid, just sassy.
That took about twenty minutes to work through. He was tense, but it was more of an, OH MY GOSH I NEED TO RUUUUUN kind of tension. So we did.
We cantered for a good while. I got up off of his back in a modified two-point and just let him go forward. Little by little he started to focus until finally, he was flicking an ear back and forth at me.
Once he remembered that I was up there, I sat a little deeper and we got to work. Izzy is an interesting horse because he doesn't have any trouble with the movements; he's naturally talented. What he needs is confidence and focus.
The one thing that Chemaine had me doing that I wasn't consciously working on before was to do lots of changes of bend. Big ones if needed, but small, subtle changes are a good way to talk to him without forcing the issue. She really stressed that I need to keep "talking" to him to keep his focus on me. Can you flex left, can you flex right? Can you half halt here, can you stretch down here?
Here's a short clip of some canter work to the right. At the end of the clinic, Chemaine and I were chatting about where we're heading and what I need to work on and so on. While I was a little disappointed about Sunday's ride (more on that in a day or two), I was thrilled with the fact that Izzy now has a confirmed right lead canter. A year ago, we couldn't pick up a right lead at all. Six months later, we struggled to hold the lead. Now, with some work, we can canter a 10-meter circle on that same right lead.
In tomorrow's post, we do it all again!
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%: