From Endurance to Dressage
Ooh … Sydney can sure canter! We had a lesson on Monday, as usual, but because of the Veteran's Day holiday, we were able to ride smack in the middle of the day under a brilliant blue sky. And it was a great lesson!
Although, even when it's brutally hard work and I am struggling with a concept, I still call them great lessons. This one was particularly fun though as we pushed Sydney just a bit, but instead of him feeling stressed and worried about the new element, he dug deep and gave willingly. I just loved that!
JL's plan for us has been to get his trot more balanced as we move to the right lead canter. Then we canter a bit to the right and before he has too much time to get anxious, we change the conversation a bit by tracking left.
We followed that plan on Monday; I worked hard on suppling his neck to the right to get some inside bend, and I made sure to eliminate any of the hurried steps that indicate he's getting anxious. He picked up a decent right lead canter which we rode until he was relatively soft. We even spiraled in to a fairly small circle, all of which he handled quite well.
We walked for a moment and then JL instructed me to track left. As usual, he had worked himself into some tension because he realized that we were now working. No biggie. I insisted on a marching walk to trot transition, which he eventually gave me. He lost some of his earlier impulsion and energy, but with some insistence on my part (yah, me!), he loosened back up pretty quickly, and we got back to work.
When we picked up the left lead canter, JL decided it was time for a more uphill canter. Ooh la la can that boy canter! I shortened my reins and half halted, half halted, half halted. To keep him uphill, I rode the canter in a square. We rode a few strides straight, and then using my outside aids to lift his shoulder, we turned. A few straight strides, and turn; straight strides, and turn; straight strides, and turn. I had a big smile on my face; he was really nicely balanced and had definitely rocked back onto his haunches. It was the nicest canter we've ever done.
And then it was back to the right. We're getting better to the right, but it's like getting on a different horse. JL had a few suggestions to help him be better balanced:
We had a great time. He's fun to ride, and I am learning so much on him. I would love to be able to show him right now as I know he's fancy and could get really good scores, but that might never happen. I am okay with it though. For now, getting that kind of work out of him is all I really need.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%