From Endurance to Dressage
Getting rid of a car (and a truck) and replacing it/them with a new truck is a lot like moving. You have to pack, sign A LOT of papers, swap out keys, unpack, and then figure out your new routine.
I think I am finally all settled in, but just like moving into a new house, nothing ever goes perfectly. I've had to make a few little adjustments over the past week. Figuring out my keys took longer than anything else.
Juke had a keyless ignition, one of my favorite inventions of all time. There was no actual key, just a fob, and as long as it was in my purse or pocket, I could start the car by pushing the button. I could also unlock my door by pushing the button on the handle. The best thing was that I couldn't lock my door if the fob was in the car, and believe me, I tried. About a million times.
We have an alarm system at our house. To deactivate the alarm, you enter the code at the door that leads from the garage into the house. Entering the code also unlocks the door. All of that means that I have been living a keyless lifestyle for four years. It has been fantastic.
As luck would have it, a few days before Newt arrived, our gage door suffered a fatal injury which meant replacing it. It's been ordered, but we can no longer use it until it is replaced. That means that I have had to park outside and can't use the keypad into the house. I now have to unlock the door with a key. It has been more than a little irritating to have to schlepp all of my stuff (work, barn, groceries, you name it) through the front door as I hear, "Disarm System Now... DISARM SYSTEM NOW... DISARM SYSTEM NOW" in an ever increasing tone of urgency.
Not only do I now have to use a key to unlock my front door, I also have to use a key to start my vehicle. First World problems, I know. Newt has a regular ignition, regular except for the shape of the key. It's a "switch blade" key. With the press of a button, a long narrow key pops out of the fob. Newt has keyless entry, but no one at the dealership where I bought the truck knew the code. Normally, I wouldn't have cared too much except that I have grown incredibly fond of not needing a key in my hand to unlock my door. I was also ridiculously concerned that I was going to lock my keys in the truck since I had grown lazy about knowing where the keys were. Juke wouldn't let me lock the keys inside, so I never thought twice about hitting the lock button.
Even after a half a dozen calls to the dealership in Paso Robles, no one could find the door lock code. Ultimately, I gave up and called my local dealership who immediately reassured me that they knew how to retrieve the code in fewer than 5 minutes. All it took a was a quick scan of the barcode located beneath my steering wheel. Suddenly, I was once again keyless - at least for locking and unlocking the door. I still need a key to start the engine, but at least I can liberate my keys if I accidentally lock them in the truck.
Besides getting the keys sorted out, there have been a few other getting to know you moments. I had to find a place for my Trailer-Aid to live. I had a great storage compartment behind Blue Truck's backseat, but Newt has under seat storage instead. The Trailer--Aid was too big, but it does fit nicely behind my saddle rack in the horse trailer.
I also had to find a place to store my road/travel kit. It has jumper cables, a mini air compressor, first aid supplies, flares, a flash light, and on and on. It's a handy thing to have, but it too lived behind Blue Truck's back seat. I am not sure I love where it is, but my choices are limited.
Just like moving into a new house, I immediately wanted to change the flooring on Newt. Blue Truck had a rubber floor, something we paid extra for. My husband had purchased WeatherTech FloorLiners for my Juke, something I can no longer live without. Newt has carpet and carpeted floor mats. Yeah, no. In fact, that's a hard no. Before Newt had been in the driveway for 48 hours, I was already clicking options to determine my floor's configuration on WeatherTech's website.
Rather than two mats, one for the right and one for the left, WeatherTech makes a single liner that stretches from the driver's side over the center hump to the passenger's side. As you would expect from WeatherTech, the liner fits precisely and snugly.
Since I go straight to the ranch after work without stopping by the house, my barn boots and clothes live behind my seat in the truck. No matter how well I rinse my boots before tossing them in the back, they're still dirty. No matter whether I touch a flake of hay of not, it still finds it's way to the truck. My back floor mats get dirtier than the driver's side mats do. I had to have a rear floor liner, too. Like the one for the front, this one is also a single piece that stretches all the way across the floor. I am insanely happy with how well both liners fit and look.
Were they cheap? No. The set, with tax and shipping, cost $266.86, but it was totally worth it. They fit better than the standard mats, and they really keep the dirt under control. I can either do a quick vacuum, or when they get really dirty, they pop right out and can be hosed off.
Newt and I are still getting to know each other, but I already love her. Nothing against Blue truck, but it's amazing how quiet "new" can be. Sirius Radio, Navigation, Blue Tooth, back up camera, and a dashboard computer that reads like a NASA switchboard don't hurt either.
I am looking forward to our next show so I can really flex Newt's engine muscles. That's the real reason for getting a truck like this, power. And I ready to start wielding it!
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%