From Endurance to Dressage
Not only am I becoming a much better rider since I started working with Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage, but I've found myself part of a new team. I am sure it helped that I was already friends with one of Sean's other clients, Valerie, who owns The Dressage Pony Store, but I didn't expect to be included with the entire team so quickly.
In my opinion, the barn's atmosphere is determined by the trainer. A barn full of toxic, catty people are there because the trainer allows it. A barn full of friendly, supportive riders are there because the trainer encourages it. Sean is incredibly professional, and while he is friendly and kind, there is always a sense of boundaries. I like that. While Sean and I are friends on some level, I appreciate that he is always a trainer first.
Being on Sean's team of riders includes some surprising perks. I had never before been to a show where the trainer and other riders tacked up my horse, made sure I drank, and had polished boots. The ladies on Sean's team truly care about horses and their riders, and they want success for everyone on the team.
After unloading Izzy on Saturday Sean presented me with my first STC Dressage branded item and assured me that more is on the way.
Equally as cool is the other side.
I squealed. It was perfect timing as I had forgotten my other one at home which meant drinking out of a coffee mug. It's much cleaner to walk around the barn with a sealed cup for your tea rather than a mug which allows floating barn dust to settle in your cup. Gross.
Since I am now officially on the team, I had better bring it.
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%