From Endurance to Dressage
To my complete relief, the neighbors across the river didn't make a peep on the 4th of July. I was almost mad; I had done a lot of prepping to cover Speedy's body in "horse friendly" armor, all for nothing
Early the next morning, I pulled in to the barn to see Speedy pacing. He was not at all pleased about being kept in all night. I tried to explain to him that it was for his own safety, but it was all a bunch of yada, yada, yada, to him.
I pulled off his leg wraps, bell boots, and fly sheet. His body looked injury free, and I breathed a big sigh of relief. One of the tell-tale signs that he's been anxious over-night is that his coat will be crusty with dried sweat and dirt. So while I know he paced most of the night - the dirt in his paddock was all shoved out at the end, he hadn't worked himself up to a sweaty mess.
Knowing a long stretchy walk would do him good, I decided to tack him up and meander the neighborhood, something he always enjoys. From the first step, I knew something was amiss. His stride was short but evenly so on all four legs. He also acted like he'd been freshly trimmed. He minced forward, practically on his tippy toes.
I urged him down the driveway, keeping to the pebble-free cement and grassy shoulder. Knowing that he was clearly uncomfortable, I circled back to the ranch, aiming for every grassy path I could find. While on grass, he seemed fine. Knowing that he had paced and whirled most of the night, I chalked up his tender-footedness to having walked too many miles the night before.
I pulled Speedy's tack and sent him into the yard to graze while I rode Izzy. By the time I was finished, Speedy was standing in the grass half asleep with his lip drooping and his hind leg cocked. Knowing that he wasn't likely to cause much trouble, I decided to leave him turned out in the dry pasture rather than cooping him up yet again in his paddock. Since we had made it through the 4th of July relatively unscathed, I turned him loose with just a fly sheet and fly mask, no bell boots or leg wraps.
That would probably have been fine except that California chose that night to once again shake holy hell out of Kern County. As if that weren't enough, the neighbors across the river decided that fireworks post Independence Day paired nicely with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Speedy lost his marbles.
To be continued ...
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%: