From Endurance to Dressage
Some days I get off Izzy and swear that I have to be the world's very worst rider. But then there are days like this past Sunday where I am positive I am the worst rider. Until I watch a video. Then I see that what I feel is not anything like what it looks like. Thank goodness. If it looked as bad as it felt, I would have been through with this dressage thing a long time ago.
Just because I am not the worst rider ever doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement, a LOT of room for improvement. In my defense though, Izzy does not make it easy. We've passed the gate corner at least a million times in the past six years, and that is no exaggeration. And yet, I still get this ...
Not five minutes later, I got this again, and while it looks like the exact same video, I promise you, it is not.
As painful as it was to watch this latest Pivo recording, I found myself fast forwarding while I looked for the disastrous moments. I had just ridden, so they were very distinct in my mind. As I scrolled through the video, though, I just couldn't find the ugly that I was sure had to be there. That's not to say we presented as a lovely pair, but it's not the rodeo that I think it is. In fact, as I watched the following minute of what they hell?, all I saw was a pretty balanced rider tactfully riding a tense and braced horse. She even pats him kindly when he loses his balance/spooks in the downward transition. That is not what the world's worst rider would do.
While Izzy isn't easy, and that is a huge understatement, I continue to learn whether I want to or not. Over the past few weeks, my focus has once again centered around issues of control. Those spooking moments in the first two videos only happen in that one particular corner. There is nothing in that corner that he hasn't seen a thousand times before, but it is his way of attempting to take the control away. I am learning to ride with a lot heavier contact than I would prefer, but Izzy seems to need to feel manhandled.
I would rather Izzy just go along with the flow, but that isn't who he is. He's a big, strong guy that wants to bully his way around the playground while feeling dejected that he doesn't have any friends. Be a little more of a team player, dude, and more kids will want to play with you. Sheesh! I hope Izzy knows that his life could be a lot worse.
He could have met me back when I was still endurance riding.
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%: