From Endurance to Dressage
I've been a fan of Audrey Hepburn's Eliza Doolittle since I first saw My Fair Lady as a kid. I love everything about the movie - Eliza's dresses, the music (oh, the music!), and that great horse racing scene where you don't see the horses but you hear them thundering past. Eliza very coarsely hollers out that infamous line, "Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!"
While I was watching our First Level Test 3 video from Saturday, I found myself urging Speedy on. Come on dude, move your bloomin' arse! As we rode, it felt like Speedy was zooming through the test. Boy, was I wrong. It looks like he's stuck in molasses. No wonder we earned our lowest score of the weekend on that test.
It's quite a steady ride, but there is nothing special happening. There is no energy, no impulsion ... nothing but quiet and submission (most of the time). That's great if you want scores in the low 60s, which is what I got - 62.500%. Chemaine reminded me that to get scores in the high 60s or 70s, I need to channel the nearly out of control so that it looks controlled. That's when we'll score higher.
I liked how this ride felt, but it seems that I need to develop a different type of feel for what is a good ride. I know they call it positive tension. Izzy has it all the time even though it wavers between out of control and ooh baby. It might be that Speedy just doesn't really have the personality, or work ethic, for that kind of energy. I am going to have to learn to get Speedy ramped up at least a little more and then channel that new energy.
I don't think this was a bad or disappointing ride; we actually outscored the second rider in the class. Right now, breaking 60% at First Level is my goal, but by spring, I want to be consistently scoring in the mid to high 60s, especially if I want to move to 2nd Level by late summer.
I know that our move through the levels (Intro and Training) looked just like this. We slowly built from high 50s to high 60s with a few bobbles here and there. And it has been quite characteristic for us to start scoring well at Test 2 before Test 3, which is exactly what we did this weekend.
I don't have media from Sunday, but I'll share our rides from day two tomorrow as my scores didn't turn out the way I expected. I think there's a lesson in there for me somewhere.
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%: