From Endurance to Dressage
In the fall of 1999, my husband and I ordered our dream truck, a 2000 Triton V-10 F250 Super Duty Crew Cab with four wheel drive, beefed up differentials, and a CD player. It had power windows and locks and cruise control. It was a beast, and I loved every minute of owning that truck.
After nineteen years and a lot of fun, I started to worry that Blue Truck needed an easier life. Hauling over the Grapevine into the Los Angeles area is quite a strenuous pull. The pass is only about 4,000 feet high, but you go from near sea level to that elevation in about ten miles. With tears in my eyes, I traded Blue Truck in for New Truck, Newt for short.
In the two years I've owned Newt, I've had more go wrong than in the entire nineteen years I owned Blue Truck. I had to have the steering damper replaced when Newt developed the Death Wobble. Then there was another vibration that was created when my leg couldn't hold steady enough pressure on the gas pedal which jacked up the electronic throttle control. Last summer, the turbo intake hose cracked and I had to replace that. A month ago, I had to have a complete brake job done. I bought Newt with 22,00 miles already on her, and I have to say that whoever drove her before me must have been hell on the brakes.
Then, as if all of that weren't enough, at the beginning of January, after getting an oil change and getting a fuel injector service done, the check engine light came on. For the love of all that's holy ...
I took Newt back to my guys at the oil change place and they read the codes - Glow Plugs. They cleared the codes because there was no way a two year old diesel would have bad glow plugs. Diesels don't have spark plugs. Instead, they have glow plugs. Fuel, mixed with air, is sprayed over the super heated glow plug in the cylinder which ignites the fuel. In warm climates like where I live, the glow plug doesn't do a whole lot, but if you live somewhere really cold, good luck getting a diesel to start without them.
When the check engine light came back on, I called Ford and set up an appointment. The soonest they could get me in was three weeks later. Not knowing whether Newt was going to crap out on me or not, I took Newt down to Hoven's Automotive to diagnosis the problem. Surprisingly, Newt's glow plugs did need work.
By the way, if you have a diesel truck and you live anywhere near Kern County, take your truck to Hoven's. I was treated so respectfully, and there was no charge for the diagnostic work. Hoven's is located at 3206 Fairhaven Drive off Rosedale Highway.
And that is the very abbreviated story of how Newt ended up in the shop for the better part of a week getting her glow plugs replaced. This was the short version. The long version involved two different service departments, a rental car the size of a pea, a nice lady named Claudia who gave me a "Lyft" from one of the dealerships out to the ranch - we chatted in Spanish the entire way as she told me about learning English as a new Lyft driver, and a shuttle driver who told me all about his "lady" (say it like you mean it) and their search for a new house.
But wait, there's more coming ... Newt, you're running out of lives, girlfriend.
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%