From Endurance to Dressage
I rarely lack the motivation to get out to the barn and ride. It's more likely that I have to remind myself to give my horses a day off. They're not machines after all. I am lucky that my job gives me summers off. With our super high summer temperatures - an "easy" summer is one with 35 triple-digit days, it can be really hard for most people to find the motivation to ride after work. I don't have that distractor; I can ride in the mornings during the summer. That's over though. School started a few weeks ago, so I am now on a "regular" schedule.
Last week was tough though. My motivation was at an all time low. I rode Izzy at the show on Sunday, and then the boys barely saw me for the rest of the week. Number one, it was insanely hot, and neither horses "needed" to be ridden. I made sure to show up every other day, but I didn't do much besides clean their waters and make sure all of their parts were still attached. Number two, I worked long hours doing a lot of mentally challenging tasks that basically sapped me of any desire to do anything but stare at a blank wall.
I try to be to work by 6:15 a.m. which means I get up by 5:00 at the latest. I'm a morning person by nature, but even so, it's hard to do every day. On Saturday, I slept in until nearly 7:00. As much as I wanted to lay around the house for a bit, I knew that I needed to get some momentum going. If I let a lack of motivation take over, the day drifts by me, and nothing get done. By the time I pulled into the barn, my regular eagerness to ride had returned.
Speedy left his breakfast when he saw me. He'd had nearly ten days off, so he was definitely ready to play. in fact, we had one of those rides where I wondered if someone had been training him on the sly. He was nicely in front of my leg and quite happy to work for more suspension instead of forward. In fact, one of his medium trots blew me away it was so good! Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, had told me that getting him more up would help the medium trot. She was right!
Even Izzy acted like the week off did him some good. The last time he'd been ridden was the Sunday before at the show. Not wanting to to risk any fresh horse arguments, I bridled him with the ported bit, but I don't think I needed it. He was completely rideable. His transitions were sharp, and he was happy to work. My focus is now about maintaining a solid connection, and he was happy to keep reaching for the bit.
It's weekends like this one that feed my motivation. It's nearly impossible to stay away when the rewards are so great.
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%: