From Endurance to Dressage
This is not a new topic; it's one I come back to now and again. Does anyone ever feel that they are good? And I mean the kind of good where you don't have to qualify it: yes, I am a "good" rider compared to a non-rider. In my world, you're only "good" if you're Carl Hester or Steffen Peters or Isabell Werth or any of a half dozen names. How can I say I am a good rider when people like that are in the world?
At the El Sueno show a week ago, I warmed up with riders doing Prix St. Georges and Fourth Level because the show is run from the higher tests down through the lower levels. At the time, I felt comfortable warming up in that crowd and never worried about running anyone over. Later though, I wondered to myself what in the world I thought I was doing in such prestigious company.
No matter what level Speedy and I do, I still feel like that endurance rider giving Intro Level a try. Speedy looks exactly the same to me as he did eight years ago. He's lost most of his dark gray coloring of course, but I just can't see the "wow" that everyone else tells me they see.
Here we are at Second Level. No matter how many people remark that Speedy is moving so much differently, I still feel like the bumbling Intro rider who's trying to fool the judge.
Does that feeling ever change?
Someone recently told me to remember that Speedy wouldn't look the way he does if I weren't doing something right.
It's a crisis of confidence for sure. Maybe I'll feel "good enough" if we make it to Third Level. Or does the feeling come at Fourth? Please don't tell me that Carl Hester walks around feeling like a walking train wreck; my already minuscule ego couldn't handle that.
Good thing Speedy doesn't care. He likes me no matter how bad I am. The feeling is mutual.
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%: