From Endurance to Dressage
I can finally see it. Over the last month, I have had a number of people tell me how much more like a dressage horse Speedy now looks. I just couldn't see it. Until now.
This first picture cracks me up. Look at how scrawny his neck is! And his butt is so bony and thin! And he has a pot belly!!!!!
The biggest difference I see in his trot work is the size of his butt! He also looks stronger in his back and withers.
I know this isn't a fair picture of his canter work back in 2011, but it does demonstrate what every canter departure looked like: he either launched into it or bucked and kicked.
It's been very, very hard watching others score better and move up through the levels faster. I've been dealing with the green-eyed monster of late. I've refrained from mentioning it before because jealousy serves no purpose. Now that I can actually see that we have indeed made progress, however slowly, I feel proud of the influence I've had on Speedy's body and brain. We are making progress even if it is not at the same rate as everyone else.
I definitely owe a big thank you to my trainer. I am so glad that she embraces the ideals of correct work. Our solid foundation will definitely pay off as we move up!
5/21/2013 10:29:40 pm
Thank you, Tracy!
5/20/2013 11:33:44 pm
That is awesome Karen! Great attitude and that's what it is all about. So glad you see the reward in all your hard work. Wow, what a big difference. 😃
5/21/2013 10:30:23 pm
Photos certainly reveal interesting "truths" don't they? :0)
5/21/2013 12:24:40 am
There is no doubt that you have worked very hard and achieved great results!
5/21/2013 10:37:08 pm
Preaching to the choir, sister! I am SICK of working on "the basics." I want to do fancy stuff and race through the levels, but alas, it can't happen. I know that If I try to take even one little shortcut, my little house of cards will tumble to the arena dirt. And so, like you, we soldier on!
5/21/2013 12:26:13 am
I'm so glad you looked at old pics. Except for his cute face he doesn't look like the same horse. Great progress!
5/21/2013 10:31:21 pm
It was your idea so thank you!!!!!!! I had been looking, but I finally found some old enough to show a big enough difference for me to recognize.
5/21/2013 01:59:47 am
Nice job documenting this, it really does tell the story. I am seeing similar things with my gelding - though not quite as dramatic because we are not yet at your level.
5/21/2013 10:33:03 pm
I have never looked at an endurance horse and thought he needed a better top line. Now, that's where all of my focus is. :0)
5/21/2013 10:33:27 pm
5/21/2013 10:34:51 pm
Photos can be just as helpful as lessons. I tend to get photos in spurts, but I study them carefully to see what we can improve. This is the first time I've been able to see what has already improved!
5/21/2013 10:31:45 pm
In both of us. :0)
You've made great strides! Your seat and position is 100x better. You horse no longer has the inverted look he used to have. He's using his back and hind end far better than he used to. His whole back end looks rounder. His hind hoof is well placed beneath his body in the now shots.
5/21/2013 10:43:51 pm
Oh, you are correct, Mia. That is why we are trying so hard to get him to STRETCH forward. Speedy tried everything possible to resist being truly engaged back to front. His go to maneuver is to break at the third vertebrate and drop behind the vertical. We have been working on getting his poll up since the beginning. Like you say, it is often times better at home because I can school through it, but while I at a show, It's hard to do what I need to get his poll back up and his back out in front. Stretching forward is definitely a big part of what he needs, and we're working hard on it. :0)
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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%: