From Endurance to Dressage
It's getting hot here; nothing like it will be, and so far nothing like it was last summer, but I just didn't feel like riding yesterday. Speedy and I are in frenemies territory, and Izzy is once again being a jackass - bit issues, but nothing that I can't overcome. Anyway, instead of riding, I started packing for this weekend's two-day show.
As I pulled in, I spotted a mama skunk with a bunch of babies in tow. It seemed a little late in the morning for them to still be out, but you know how kids are. It's hard to get anywhere on time when you have to take the whole family. I drove by slowly, I am cautious when it comes to stink bombs, but despite their ability to ruin my day, they were very, very cute.
#2 & #3
My dogs almost never go to the ranch with me as the arena is up by the road, and I don't trust them to stay on the property while I am riding. When I tugged on a pair of shorts (instead of breeches) and grabbed my purse, tails started wagging in excitement; they knew they were going. Even though it was unusual for me to take them, they didn't care. Cars and trucks are magical things, and they are always up for an adventure.
I parked my car and let them run around for a bit, but then we hiked over to my truck and trailer so I could hook up. I didn't want to call my husband telling him that I ran over a dog, so I loaded them in the truck with me while I backed up to the trailer. That really threw them for a loop, but like I said, cars and trucks are wonderful things and not to be questioned.
With heads hanging out the window, I pulled around to the barn to load up some of my stuff for the show. Dogs aren't always the smartest crayons in the box. When I opened the door, they leaped out excitedly, eager to check out someplace "new."
After I stuffed Speedy's hay bag with grass hay, I moved on to the alfalfa. As I was filling my half bale bag, I actually looked at it. I've owned that blue bale bag since 1997, but I never see it anymore. It's become as old and familiar as the 27 blue buckets I have laying around. Okay, maybe not 27, but close.
After I wedged it into the trailer, I caught what was written on the top and smiled.
Back when I was still competing in endurance races, and I am sure things haven't changed that much, ride managers had a lot of creative ways to entice riders to come back. For our winter desert rides, the three different race managers put together a three-show series. In order to compete for the series prize, you had to pay a small entry fee declaring that you were "in" for the Triple Crown.
If you got pulled from any of the three races or you weren't able to compete at all, you lost your money. If you completed all three races, you earned the prize. In 1997, it was a half bale bag. You'd think it would be an easy accomplishment, but it was much harder to do than you would think. I was really proud of that bag and the accomplishment that it represented. Seeing it yesterday brought back some fond memories.
I've already shared how Izzy's coat fades pretty dramatically over the summer. I am not sure my strategy to prevent that is working very well, but his coat did catch my eye yesterday.
His barrel is definitely lightening up, but that's not what I noticed. Izzy is registered with the Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) warmblood registry and sports their brand on his left hip. I can rarely see it unless he's all shed out.
I always think of his brand as a secret tattoo that only I am allowed to see. He's actually the third branded horse I've owned. Montoya DSA, an Arabian, was freeze branded on her neck, and Sydney, a New Zealand Thoroughbred that I previously owned, was branded on both shoulders.
In general, when I am at the barn, I ride. I have to say though that it was kind of fun just puttering around without riding. There's a lot more going on than what you'd think.
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%: