From Endurance to Dressage
My Trainer Broke My Horse
I trust her for one ride. One ride! And what do I get get? A busted, broken horse, that's what. All I can say is FINALLY!
Of course, I doubt he's permanently broken which means I need her back on him the second he starts to act unbroken.
While I would love to give Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, ALL of the credit, I know I also had a lot to do with it. It's taken us several years, but Izzy has slowly gotten on board. At our lesson in November, both Chemaine and I were quite surprised at how rideable he has become (most of the time).
When I got so sick a few days after that November lesson, I was pretty frustrated at the ground I was sure we would lose. Rather than ride him myself during our December lesson, I asked Chemaine to hop on board. I just didn't have the physical strength to ride him through any hooligan moments. We all know that turned out to be the right call as Chemaine ended up working him for nearly two hours. It was during that ride that she broke him.
After that ride, I got on a totally different horse. He was so submissive that I wondered if he was drugged. Over the past two weeks he's kept her lesson in mind, but he's not quite as soft and malleable as she left him. However, with her strategy in my mind, I am keeping him pretty respectful.
So what magical powder did she coat him with? As far as I can tell, it was called BEAT HIM WITH A BIG STICK; apply as needed. Yep. She pretty much just called his bluff. For so long I've felt that there was a fear element involved in his spooks and resistance. Nope. He's just a jerk. Chemaine called them Dick Moves. And when he pulled them, she beat him with a big stick. Sometimes literally and sometimes metaphorically.
Remember that this horse is nearly 17 hands. And it's not just height. He's big. He's strong. And he knows it. He's also very opinionated and not at all reluctant to share said opinions.
Chemaine insisted on one simple rule: his attention was to be on her/me EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. That meant that he is no longer allowed to look around, ever. That includes walking to and from the arena. Getting groomed. Being tacked up. It doesn't matter where we are. He doesn't get to look around. And if he does, hell fire is about to rain down on him.
I am sure someone is asking why I didn't just try that three years ago. Yeah, I know; I wish it was that simple. It's just that now he's ready for this rule. In a few months, he'll be ready for a new rule that will get him even more broke.
Again, it's a good thing I like this horse!
1/3/2018 06:34:39 am
Amen to that!
1/3/2018 06:35:39 am
Thanks! My chiropractor was out yesterday, and even he noticed how much mature Izzy seems over just three months ago. :0)
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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%: