From Endurance to Dressage
Looking For My Enthusiasm
If you were to ask anyone who knows me how I approach dressage, their answer would certainly be with enthusiasm. And that would be a true assessment.
I tend to approach anything that I care about with a great deal of energy and single minded focus. In many ways, this is a great thing as I tend to reach goals and get a lot done.
On the flip side, being so driven to succeed comes with a bit of a price.
I spent the summer riding both horses every day, hauling Izzy out for twice weekly trail rides, showing Speedy, and organizing several clinics. I've worked almost non-stop for the past six months to get Izzy as broke as possible before winter sets in and to get Speedy at least closer to schooling the movements at Second Level. Working so zealously can really wear a person out.
I am not saying I've succeeded at either thing, but just the effort it took to get this far has finally caught up with me. I was unintentionally over-booked this past week with after school meetings and appointments, but I can't say I was disappointed to miss my daily trips to the barn. I was grateful for the break, but when I woke up on Saturday morning asking myself if I really wanted to ride, I realized I needed to have a little sit down with myself to see what was going on.
What I realized, of course, was that I'd been driving myself and my horses pretty hard. It doesn't all have to get accomplished by the end of the year, and no one is keeping score.
I've had a couple of less than stellar rides on both boys over the past two weeks, and that maybe chipped away at my enthusiasm a little bit. But Churchill was right, a set back here and there shouldn't affect my passion and zest for bigger and better things.
I am going to slow down for the next couple of weeks and focus on enjoying all of the new skills that both my boys have learned. I think Izzy could use a few weeks of just building his confidence, and I know Speedy would like me to quit poking him so much with my spurs.
I think today might be a good day to just ride for fun.
12/8/2015 05:49:09 pm
That's my story - always intense. :0)
12/6/2015 02:41:42 pm
Understood. We took yet another full day trip to Hessen. Thuringen.. Niedersachsen, I think, honestly all three states, to see a horse, and on the entire 4 hour journey there, my husband had his physics tests in his lap, making grades. When we arrived, he stayed in the car to finish the first class of 25, and then on the way home he started the other 25, but had to stop cuz it was dark out. After watching him a while (while waiting for the stable to go get the horse I wanted to see), I saw that he was marking down the kids for their spelling errors, even on a physics test. He mentioned one kid (who looked to score particularly badly) had a doctor's note to be allowed freedom because he has dyslexia. It took me forever to figure out what the german word for dyslexia is.
12/8/2015 05:50:34 pm
I hope you find a suitable companion soon. I know you're going stir crazy. The right pony is out there hoping you find him/her in time for Christmas ... or New Year's ... or Valentine's Day ... or .... just make it soon. :0)
I am so glad I'm not the only one who gets feeling this way! Since I work without an indoor in PA, my spring is hit or miss and 5 months of riding is essentially scrapped due to daylight savings (no riding after work due to darkness). I still ride on weekends, but even those become difficult because the outdoor footing isn't good enough to work on usually so I end up doing 15-20 min hacks through a Christmas Tree farm... but right now those are scrapped too (At least on Saturdays) due to hunting season. So this leads me to become a crazy person who rides and trains every day that the footing allows from April to Oct, and by the time November is rolling around, I'm burnt out and so is my horse. I'm almost relieved to not have to go to the barn on weekdays. Penn and I both need a break!
12/8/2015 05:52:46 pm
I hear you!!!! I can ride 12 months out of the year, but I get particularly intense from spring to fall. in the winter I tend to slow down a little, but only just barely. I have two weeks off for Christmas break, and I find that I ramp it back up trying to squeeze in as much as possible before January and February's gray days press in on me. :0)
12/8/2015 05:55:26 pm
I wish I did it more often. :0)
12/8/2015 05:56:03 pm
Remind me again in a few weeks! :0)
Comments are closed.
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%: