From Endurance to Dressage
Almost two years ago, I traded Blue Truck in for a newer model. While I love Newt's hauling power - man is she powerful, I am not so thrilled with her dependability. Early on, she developed a death wobble, and yes, it was as scary as it sounds. Ford fixed it though, so all was good. Then Newt developed another vibration that was also terrifying; that, too, was fixed. And then, a month or so ago, the turbo intake hose (I think) cracked, and I spent $120 fixing it. Even though Newt is still under warranty, my Ford service department couldn't get me in for three weeks, so I bought the part, asked my guy at the oil change place how to fix it, and then with my husband's help, changed it myself.
While it took more than one trip to my friendly oil change shop - they had to reset the check engine light after we replaced the hose, their advice was spot on and Newt was back to running full strength. Besides the issue of not having any power, the hose had to be replaced because at the same time as all that was happening, I got my vehicle registration renewal notice in the mail.
In addition to paying the annual renewal fee, all older vehicles AND DIESELS have to pass the California smog test every other year. Smogging requires that all systems check out clean, and a busted turbo intake hose would have caused a FAIL on the test which would have meant I couldn't get new stickers for my license plate.
When I bought my Juke in 2016, I thought I was done with smog tests forever. My husband hasn't had to have a vehicle smogged in nearly two decades, but that's because he trades his vehicles in every five years or so. Since Juke was new, I didn't have to have it smogged. I thought Newt's newness would grant me the same reprieve. Nope. Diesels, even though they use Diesel Exhaust Fluid to reduce the emissions, still have to be smogged every other year in California. Well crap.
Over the weekend, I took Newt to my At-Least-I-Don't-Hate-Them smog shop. I say that because I hate that the whole process is so expensive, but it's not their fault. The state makes the rules. The 10-minute Smog test is not only a bit pricey - $57, but my DMV tags were $780 this year. We have to renew our tags every year. In ten year's time, California will have squeezed me for nearly $8,000, and that's just in DMV fees.
While I was chatting with the guy who was running the Smog test, he gave Newt an appreciative look and told me what a nice truck she is. She hauls great, that's for sure I told him, but I was horribly embarrassed by how cluttered and messy she was on the inside. The technician laughed and said she's a truck. That's just how it goes. While that may be true, it doesn't make it right. I like to keep my vehicles clean and well maintained, but my life has been so chaotic over the past month that the clutter was threatening to squeeze even the driver out.
As soon as I got home from the Smog shop, I emptied my truck of all of the boxes, receipts, loose papers, old masks, trash, and water bottles. I grabbed the shop vac, a bucket of hot water, a micro fiber cloth, and glass cleaner. By the time I was finished, Newt's interior looked and smelled much better. I couldn't do much about about the exterior dust as the bed was filled with feed bags that needed to be dropped off at the ranch the next day.
There's nothing like a bit of shame to motivate the tired and weary. Next up on Newt's to do list is new tires and probably brake pads. My husband already raised a quizzical eyebrow at Newt's footwear, but I think she can go another month or two.
I just bought myself a new pair of Chuck Taylors, so Newt will have to wait her turn.
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%: