From Endurance to Dressage
Newt isn't a cheap truck to drive, and I knew that when I bought her. That doesn't make her bills any easier to pay though. In September, I paid Newt's California DMV fees - $780 plus the 57 bucks for the SMOG test. I also needed a complete brake job; that set me back $1,032. That's more than two grand, and I made the regular payment which is a number I can't even stand to share. And before you judge me too harshly for having "champagne tastes," I bought Newt very gently used. She had 22,000 miles which shaved a ton off her price tag. Even so ...
Yesterday morning I had to stop by the gas station; my fuel gauge said I could go about 100 miles which means closer to 75, maybe. I drive 50 miles a day, so I couldn't put it off any longer. Newt's fuel tank is one of my favorite features of the truck. It holds a whopping 48 gallons. Yes, you read that correctly. I no longer ever have to get gas with the horse trailer in tow. I can always get where I am going and back on a single tank. If I were to travel to Sacramento or Las Vegas, I'd have to fill up before I came home, but those trips are pretty rare.
As much as I love that 48 gallon tank, it is a bit of a sock-to-the-gut to fill it up from empty, which is where it was yesterday morning. Number one, it takes a good 15 - 20 minutes to pump that many gallons; I had to leave extra early to allow for that much time. Second, I can't fill up my tank with one swipe of my card. The pump only allows you to charge $99 at a time, and that's not even close to what it costs for a fill up.
At more than $4.00 a gallon, it doesn't take long to reach the maximum of $99. It took a mere 23 gallons to hit that mark, just under half a tank. When the pump shut off, I dutifully replaced the nozzle, let the machine clear, and swiped my card a second time. As I sat in the driver's seat scrolling through my messages - what else are you going to do for 15 minutes?, I watched that top row of numbers fly by much more quickly than the numbers in the bottom row.
When the pump clicked off for the second time, I quickly calculated my total charge - $180 and change for 43 gallons. That's enough to get me to work and the barn and home again for the next 10 days. By mid-October, I'll need to do it all again, and I have a show at the end of October which requires at least another half a tank. This is going to be another expensive month.
I bet diesel is a lot cheaper in Tennessee ... or anywhere outside of California for that matter.
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%: