From Endurance to Dressage
I knew Sydney was probably a bit tired on Sunday after his long day with Lois on Saturday. Not only did he have a pretty intense lesson, but he spent three hours in the trailer. I decided to take it as easy as possible.
We started out at a walk with me reminding him to carry himself. Lois called me on allowing Sydney to bump, bump. bump the bit in my hands so I paid particular attention to that. I was still following with my elbows, but I resisted when he tried to bump the bit. Hmmm ... that was definitely a new sensation.
My only plan for the ride was to do the counter bent trot circles. Sydney picked up the circle to the left very quietly and willingly followed as I asked him to to do the counter bend. We spiraled in slowly and then changed to a correct bend and spiraled back out. Easy as pie.
I let him walk for a few moments and then picked up the trot to the right. He already felt more balanced than he has in the past few weeks. Once the 20-meter circle was established, I moved him into a counter bend and felt the stiffness in my left hand and leg. It takes a lot of leg and a firm half halt to get him to move off his right leg. I just focused on slowly making the circle smaller and smaller until we hit the 10-meter mark.
I kept him in the circle for a few moments and then slowly returned him to a normal bend. I moved him out onto the bigger circle and was overall pleased with his balance.
The longer I practice dressage, the harder it gets. Every time I think I am getting somewhere, I realize how much farther I actually have to go. Rather than getting closer, the end seems to be drifting out of sight.
It's hard not to be discouraged by that.
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%: