From Endurance to Dressage
It's not that I am at a loss for words, Hubby can swear that never happens, it's just that I have too much to say. So instead of a post about one topic, I need to just unload a few different things.
1. I am back to struggling with my gray pony, but at least I am not taking it personally. He is being a real stinker about the canter. He is literally hurtling his body into the gait with no effort at relaxing. When I rode on Tuesday, I just kept asking in a nice way while staying calm and relaxed myself. After what seemed like forever, he finally rolled into the canter. We made one circle, and I brought him to a halt. I praised him like there was no tomorrow. Getting frustrated with him isn't going to help anything.
2. I am worrying about this weekend's show. Of course. I am worrying about the parking; I am worrying about the stabling arrangements; but my greatest fear is that we "peaked" at the last show. I just don't see how we can equal that performance. Ridiculously, the main reason that I am so worried about it is because a handful of local riders will be there, and I don't want to be the bumbling country cousin that everyone rolls their eyes at. Oh, right, her again.
I know, I know; it's stupid. I give my students a million ways to combat those self-destructive thoughts: Success Starts with Believing in Yourself; For Success, Attitude is as Important as Ability; and my favorite, The Three D's to Succeed: Desire, Discipline, Dedication. I am up to my chin in those three things.
3. I got some good work out of Sydney on Tuesday. We mainly worked to the right. I could feel my brain firing like crazy with all of the info I learned on Monday. The first thing I did was to really make sure he was working from that outside rein. Once he felt balanced, I started asking him to soften off the inside rein. And then, all of a sudden I could feel when I needed to use my inside leg. I asked for a right lead canter and actually got it the first time. It wasn't a spectacular transition, but getting it right away felt like a victory. I called it a day.
4. My mom is coming to the show. She drove down from Cave Junction, Oregon just to camp out with me for three days at the show. It's a 650 mile trip so I feel some added pressure to do well and make sure that she has fun. I know she'll be wearing her rose colored glasses and will only see an Olympic rider on Speedy G, but still ... I'll know it's just me.
Even though I am anxious about it, I am still looking forward to having my mom walking with me from the warm-up and waiting patiently (or not so patiently) ring side as we do our tests. Oh, and to have a boot polisher will be divine!
As hard as I tried to make this a true list of 5 Things, I couldn't find a fifth thing that has me worried. Well thank goodness for that! So instead, here's a bit of a Can-Do to help myself out ...
5. I work really hard to improve (Success: Don't Just Wish for it, Work for it!). I do a lot with a little: I travel alone (no groom/trainer), I ride non-traditional breeds (Arabian & OTTB), I don't have a dressage trainer (h/j trainer instead), and yet, we still mange to get the job. Win or lose, I'm in it for the education and experience (Education is Not Received, It's Achieved!).
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%