From Endurance to Dressage
First, I need to offer a very heartfelt thank you to those of you who have taken the time to offer me feedback over the last few days. I have enjoyed your comments very much. Some of you have answered my questions, some have sympathized with the difficulty of the exercises, and some have been excited to try some of Christian's strategies.
For me, this blog is a way to process what I am learning, and having you all chime in has been like having a deep conversation. You've all given me excellent ways to think about why we do things and how we do things. Writing in such detail can be tiring, my fingers are dragging across the keyboard tonight, but knowing that putting words to ideas will lead me to better understanding, makes it a very worthwhile endeavor.
And with that, here's a little bit about my second ride on Sydney …
I already told you yesterday that I was pretty beat after my second ride on Speedy. Those exercises that Christian had me do were both physically and mentally challenging. I knew that what lay ahead was not going to be any easier.
Let's see if I can do the short version:
Here's another Sarah photo - I still look quite tense, but Sydney is moving pretty nicely.
After the lesson, while I was untacking and putting Sydney away, Christian gave me a hug and told me what a good job I'd done. He later remarked to Chemaine Hurtado, my (not often enough used) Ventura trainer, that I am quite brave and have improved tremendously. So while I may have been a bit of an emotional pile of goo after I dismounted, the positive feedback I received from everyone let me know that I didn't have any reason to be disappointed.
I need to add a special thank you to the OTTB rider who came out of nowhere to engulf me in a gigantic bear hug. Even though she didn't know me, she completely empathized with my situation and knew that I needed a bit of moral support. Thanks to you, kind lady!
Sarah, of Eventing in Color did a brilliant write up of the clinic here. As an auditor, she was able to really listen to what Christian was saying without trying to also make her body do things it had never tried before. She took excellent notes which I have decided to unabashedly copy and paste. Why reinvent the wheel, eh?
So, thanks to Sarah, here are some excellent Schachtisms:
From Karen on Speedy, Sunday:
And still more from Sarah's observations...
This final lesson was the most meaningful to me. Sydney started off quite tense, then worked out of it, then got tense again, then improved again. I felt so much empathy for Karen - after all, we have the same issue of our amazing-at-home-OTTBs going nutso when away from home (only sometimes! which is somehow worse!).
I have a few more things that I'd like to share about this clinic experience, but they'll need to wait for another day. Right now, I need another drink, some dinner, and bed. Have a great day!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%