From Endurance to Dressage
#1 Trailer Dent
First up is the dent I put in my trailer. I finally forced myself to go look at it last night. It's ugly, but it's not nearly as bad as I remember. Since I have a show this weekend, I wanted to make sure the tire wasn't flat and that I am not going to cut a tire as it travels down the road. Cutting a tire is NASCAR speak. It's what happens when one car makes contact with another car or the wall. The fender gets pushed in just enough to rub the tire. A good enough rub will cut the tire open. The last thing I need is a tire blow out as I travel over Interstate 5.
So, I took out a huge wrench and a little hammer. The pit crew of a NASCAR team would have been able to either pull the fender away from the tire by hand or hammer it out. Either I am not as strong as those guys are (duh!), or the aluminum of my trailer is sturdier than the body of their cars. Either way, I was able to put a big enough gap between my tire and the fender. I also refolded the funky tear. I have an appointment for Monday. Hopefully, the guys at Delaney's can get it looking a little better.
#2 Pampering Station
I wrote about my new "pampering station" yesterday. Who knew I needed something like that? After Monday's warm ride - it's in the high 90s again, I gave Izzy a quick shower, and then I shampooed his tail dock. Afterwards, I unclipped his lead rope and let him graze on the lawn as he dried. Having everything permanently at my fingertips has made it much easier to do the fancier things. As the weather gets even hotter, I'll appreciate not having to do so much running around to grab shampoos and whatever.
#3 Good Rides?
Whenever I think back to what riding Izzy used to be like, I wonder why I still feel so discouraged. Five years ago, every ride was pretty terrifying. His version of a spook was to leap into the air and then launch forward. It was all pretty dramatic. Back then, he couldn't just walk. He jigged, danced, bolted ... anything but walk. There was no rhythm, and he plowed through my aids like a bulldozer. He wouldn't bend, and every corner was a reason to spin and go the other direction. It was exhausting.
As I was riding the other day, I felt myself getting a bit dejected. Are we ever going to get there? I asked myself. I am not sure where there is, but I know it's not here. And then I reminded myself of how far we've come. Now, instead of all of the theatrics, a spook is just a spook - yes, he's spooking at the birds flying overhead, but at least he's staying on the the ground. Instead of diving into my hands, he sucks back a bit, reluctant to take the bit, but there are times when he will. And thankfully, those times are getting more frequent. When I rode on Monday afternoon, I was patient but insistent. I was rewarded with some show worthy simple changes. We're closer to there than we used to be.
#4 My New Boots Came
They're beautiful, but they don't fit. More on that later.
#5 Speedy's Going to a Show
I won't be riding him, but that makes it even more exciting. "T," one of Speedy's ladies and the one who has been riding him the longest, will be showing him in Tehachapi in two weeks. She came out for a lesson last night (no photos), so we could run through several tests. While we've worked on most everything from Training Level, we've never really strung multiple movements in a row. Intro B didn't go so well, but Intro C did, so we ran through Training Level test 1. After going through each test two or three times, both Speedy and T were getting tired.
I recommended doing Intro Test C for sure, but I told T she should decided whether she wanted to do the much easier Intro B test, or go for the longer canter in Training Level Test 1. She's ready for it. We had worked on the entry over the phone a few days before, so now she just needs to indicate which tests she's doing, write a check, and get it in the mail. I don't know how she feels, but I am really excited to see Speedy back in the spotlight. Retirement is over-rated.
So there you have it; five wildly unconnected things that somehow still all go together.
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%: