From Endurance to Dressage
The first time here.
Our Third Level Test 3s were pretty similar to the Test 1s, if maybe slightly better. Still no 60%s, but again, if it weren't for that one movement ...
Seriously, doesn't this look familiar?
It should, because it looked exactly like the nonexistent left to right flying change during 3-1 (below) which earned a 1.0. Guess what the nonexistent change above scored? Bingo, another 1.0. And if we didn't get our 60% during test 1 with a non-flying change, we sure as heck weren't going to get it at test 3 with another non-flying change.
Aside from some disastrous changes, the Test 3s weren't too shabby. The walk and trot work was mostly where it needed to be. Our turns on the haunches scored 7.0, 6.5, 6.5, and 5.5 (not sure what happened on the last one, but it was wonky.) Our half circles earned 6.0s and 6.5s. Our last extended trot even earned a 7.0.
The trot half passes are still developing, but we did earn a 6.0 on one of them. The last section of the test - an extended canter to a collected canter to a collected trot and finished off with two left turns to the halt, is really fun to ride. We had a lone 5.5 for a transition from collected canter to trot, but outside of that, we earned a handful of 6.5s and even a 7.0 during those last four movements, both times. Too bad none of them carry a double coefficient.
To my relief, we finally got both of the flying changes on Sunday's Test 3. We were rewarded with a 6.5 for the first one and a 6.0 for the second one. During one of the judge's breaks, she walked past me and congratulated me on getting the changes. The missed changes must have been pretty memorable for the judge to recognize me even in my shorts and Symphony Dressage sun shirt! I thanked her for her feedback and joked that changes are even harder when the canter is broken. She laughed good-naturedly and encouraged me to keep at it.
No matter what kind of scores I get at a show, I always learn something. Being at a show causes my mental neurons to fire like crazy. I absorb everything like a gigantic sponge. In turn, I ride with this scary intensity as I struggle to put it all together. Struggle being the operative word.
At one point, Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, yelled something like think haunches in as you blah, blah, blah. I rolled my eyes at her as I cantered past telling her that I had no room for that last piece of advice as I was already trying to remember to do the other hundred things she had already told me to do. She laughed.
Despite the teary moments, or maybe even because of them, I had a great time. And really, having fun has to be the number one goal at a show. If it's not fun, it's not really worth spending so much time and money doing it. I learned a lot that I've already used this week while riding both Speedy and Izzy, and I am eagerly looking forward to our next show in just over a week. While it is only CDS-rated, my feelings won't be hurt to earn a 60% there.
Below are the score sheets if you're interested - Saturday's on the left and Sunday's on the right. Below those are the videos of each day's Third Level Test 3 rides.
Saturday's Test 3 here.
Sunday's Test 3 here.
I do have one final thought: I am actually showing Third Level, and that fact on its own makes me giddy with happiness. If Second level sucks, Third Level is awesome!
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%