From Endurance to Dressage
My life sits upon a tripod. The first of the three legs is my home life which means my husband and our two dogs. The second is my barn life which includes Speedy and Izzy and their health and happiness. The third and final leg of my life is work. The work I do as a teacher is very fulfilling and as such, it is something that keeps my cup full. Usually.
I don't know how many legs most other people use to hold up their lives, but I suspect it might be four, with friends being the fourth leg. It's not that I don't have friends, I do, and very good ones at that. It's that those personal relationships are either intertwined around my home life or barn life. I am so busy with the third leg of my tripod - work, that my friends have to fit in with family or horses. I don't think I have any non-horse friends.
I have placed firm limits on the friendships I might develop at work because any work-friendships that might go sour have the very real capability of negatively affecting my career. I make it a point to be friendly at work, but professionalism has to come first which means none of my work colleagues are counted as friends. I enjoy good relationships at work, but I keep them work focused.
The problem with a tripod support system is that it is very easily toppled over. When one leg goes, I am knocked off kilter living a very unbalanced life. That has been my last month's experience. My work life has gone completely out of control. If you want to watch a train wreck, grab some popcorn and buckle up.
The main reason things have gone so haywire is that I am very good at what I do. Speedy and I are both schoolmasters, and in my case SCHOOL master is a literal reference. After thirty years in the classroom, I have things mastered, and I do ALL THE THINGs. If my district wants to try "this" strategy, I do it. If my district wants to implement "that" plan, I do it. Three weeks ago, due to low student enrollment, our virtual program lost half of its teachers when combination classes were created. I went from teaching 5th grade virtually to teaching 5th AND 6th virtually.
I am making it work because that's what I do, but it is overwhelming. On Saturday morning, I woke up in tears. I cannot do a job part-way. I am all in, all the time. My version of teaching means I teach EVERYTHING, and I teach it WELL. After three weeks of living that way, I fell apart because it is not possible to do. I have been working 10 hour days for three weeks. On Saturday afternoon, I worked another 4 hours - unpaid, and on Sunday I did the same. Since I am a salaried employee, I do not get overtime.
After talking things over with my both my husband a horse friend, the ranch owner, I realized that I need to find some short cuts. I went through work schedule and started crossing things out. And once my red pen got going - it wasn't really red, but it felt like it, every stroke of the pen lightened my load. I also reorganized some parts of my school day. Doing that, combined with a possible big change that I should know about in a day or two, helped me sleep much better on Saturday night. Well, that and the massive tin roof sundae I enjoyed with the ranch owner on Saturday afternoon.
Ice cream makes everything better.
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%: