From Endurance to Dressage
After 8 years, I can finally say that Speedy is the horse that I had hoped he would become. That doesn't mean he's perfect, dude's got an attitude after all, but there is no longer any need to rest my hopes on "Someday."
There are certainly days when he frustrates me, and we're nowhere done with his training, but at eleven years old, he has become a very solid citizen. JenJ, over at Wyvern Oaks was teasing on Facebook about anyone wanting a "free" haflinger. I joked that I had a horse for trade, too - I was thinking of a big, brown Zweibrücker. When she replied that she would trade for Speedy, I stopped suddenly and realized that while I used to make that joke about him quite frequently, I no longer write for sale ads when I am mad at him.
For the first several years that I owned Speedy, I spent lots of time writing sale ads. He was simply incorrigible. He routinely bolted, bucked, spooked, ran into me, and acted as though I was plotting his murder. He's always adored me, he frequently hollers at me when I go out of sight, but for whatever reason he was certain I was always making poor decisions about his welfare.
But now, Speedy seems to have realized that while I am not perfect, I am not conspiring to send him to his doom. We've come to an understanding that I get to make most of the decisions, but he gets a vote too. As a team, we have a lot more fun together.
More than ever, Speedy wants to work with me. When I pull into the barn, he's already looking for me. When l get out of the car, he greets me at his fence and starts talking to me. He doesn't necessarily want to work on walk to canter transitions, but he definitely wants me to play with him.
For the most part, Speedy has become super dependable. He is still a horse though so there are the occasional bloopers. Just last week he kicked me in the forehead while I was applying his rear boots. He hasn't worn them before so he gave the hind one a good shake while I was strapping on the other one. I still have a knot on my forehead.
And the last time I rode him bareback, he got all uppity and excited and jumped out from underneath me. I landed squarely on both feet with the reins still in my hand. I guess that technically some skill was involved, but it was mostly luck that I didn't land on my butt. Speedy was quite chagrinned over the incident and meekly sidled up next to the closest tractor so I could get back on.
I am glad that he's not perfect. I don't think I'm ready for a blooper-less relationship. I like the occasional Oh Crap! moments as they keep things interesting. I still need Speedy to be spunky and sassy because Someday, he'll be a senior citizen that won't be able to do walk to canter transitions.
I don't know that he and I will be together until he's an old man, but I'd like to hope so. The reality is that Someday he may need to be a little girl's horse or a tried and true packer for a more timid rider. I'll have to wait and see what's best for him.
I hope that Someday is a long ways away ...
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%: