From Endurance to Dressage
There are probably a million apps that will track your "run," or in my case - ride, but I am loving the free UnderArmour app, MapMyRun. I've used it out on the trail a few times where I was able to map the distance and pace that we've covered. This would have been an awesome app back when I was still endurance racing. Back in the old-old days, we used nothing, but then handheld GPS devices became available. I had a Garmin 12 which was huge and not terribly reliable in canyons and under trees, all place we were likely to be riding. The apps available on our phones today are so much better, and they're free. Progress, you gotta love it.
The other day I forgot to wear my watch which is just about as distressing as forgetting to wear a helmet. That actually happened a few months ago. It wasn't until the end of my ride when I started complaining (to myself) about the sun in my eyes. I reached up to adjust my helmet, and to my horror, discovered I wasn't wearing one. How in the holy hell did I NOT notice I WASN'T wearing my helmet? For forty-five minutes.
Anyway, back to the watch thing. I time every single ride so that I know how long my warm up is and how long I've been riding. Without my watch, I'm just as likely to ride for twelve minutes as I am two hours, and both would feel the same. A watch keeps me on track.
I had worn my breeches with the awesome cellphone pocket, so I turned on the MapMyRun app and dropped my phone in my pocket. One of the things I love about the app is that at each mile ridden (run), a pleasant voice comes on to tell you you've reached a mile. She then tells you how long it took and after you've done two or more miles, she tells you what your average pace is. I rode Izzy for 1 hour, 1 minute, 18 seconds which covered 4.65 miles. Here's what it looked like.
When I opened the map, I laughed out loud. The green dot is where we started, and the red dot shows where we ended. Is there any doubt where the arena is or whether I used all of it? For the past several months, I always ask Izzy to sidepass to the gate so that I can open it without getting off, and then we work in some corner of the property focusing on walking without bracing through the neck. His not mine.
As we headed left out of the arena, right on the map, we walked through the tunnel carport - a fun trick to check his trust level, but as we passed some barrels that are in the driveway - they're filled with dust control product awaiting application, Izzy decided that he. simply. could. not. So we did. Obviously we spent quite some time weaving through those barrels. Once he decided that why yes, yes he could, we meandered back to the barn (the red topped roof at the bottom of the photo) where I hopped off.
Speedy's hocks were injected last Wednesday, but I had been given the okay for an easy ride on Saturday. Since I had the app up and running, I decided to map that ride as well. You can see the route above. That ride took 48 minutes and 29 seconds and covered 2.0 miles. I was riding with a woman who just moved to the ranch - there are now three of us, but the other one only comes one day a week for a lesson on her pony. Sarah, the horse DG rode was quite a slow walker, so Speedy and I stopped and waited for her quite a lot. We normally do that loop in about 35 minutes; sometimes less.
I don't normally ride with my phone in my pocket - I only have two pair of breeches with a pocket big enough to hold my phone securely, but I think I am going to start mapping more of my rides. It was quite illuminating to see how "far" we had ridden in our arena.
It's funny that I rode more than twice as far in the arena than I did on the trail.
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%: