From Endurance to Dressage
Photo by Edyta - Click photo for larger view
If I were to consider reaching my goals for this show as the criteria for success, the show would be considered a disaster. And yet, it wasn't. It was quite the opposite. These were my goals:
After riding the Intro C test, Mary Meyer, a local USDF "L" Graduate, gave me some tips for improving my ride. Her suggestions were good ones. And even though I was utterly disgusted, and even slightly embarrassed, she didn't focus on how "terrible" the ride was. She gave me an eh, whatcha gonna do? shrug and reminded me to take a deep breath the next time around and remember to have fun. Her comments really took the wind out of my sails of disappointment and allowed me to ride the second test without the weight of the first test's foibles.
The second morale boost of the day came when the opportunity to participate in the post-show clinic was offered. Peggy Klump, the show's judge, was doing a day and a half clinic. Peggy Klump is the President of the California Dressage Society. Having the opportunity to do a full lesson with the judge who just saw your test was an amazing opportunity. That is a post for later this week.
Here is the Introductory C Test ...
The first mistake I made had to do with the initial warm up. I got on about 15 minutes too early and then the show ran a few minutes late. Speedy G warmed up very well, but then he got bored. A bored Speedy G creates a mischievous pony. He started to look for ways to entertain himself and lost focus.
My next error had to do with misreading Speedy G's energy. This dressage court, a very lovely riding space, had no alley around the outside. Once the testing rider finished her round, the next rider did her final warm up in the court. The judge rang the bell, the rider exited, and re-enterered to begin the test. I thought Speedy needed a jump start so I let him blast into the court. I did a trot down the long side to the judge, gave her my number, and did an equally bold trot down the other long side. This was a mistake. When we entered at A for the test, Speedy G came running. He was way too forward and was simply running through the test. We were all over the place. I spent the first half of the test trying to get him back under control, listening to my leg. While I wasn't nervous, I am sure my hands and seat were tense which certainly didn't help him relax.
You can see the video below followed by the score sheet. While the test wasn't terrible, okay, it was terrible. I can't stand to watch it. My body and leg position are solid, but my hands. Oh those awful, awful hands. In the post-show lesson this is where the judge worked with me. Watching the video makes me cringe because of what my hands are doing. How can I not see that when I am riding?
The judge must not have thought my hands were enough to ruin the whole ride because the score sheet is filled to the brim with sixes (satisfactory). She gave us fives (marginal) for the canter and sevens (fairly good) for Gaits and Rider's Position.
Here is the video and score sheet ...
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%: