From Endurance to Dressage
When I pulled into the barn yesterday morning, I could see Izzy whooping it up by himself. The sun hadn't yet cleared the tree tops, and the air was just slightly cooler than it had been making it a good day for goofing off. He was bucking and gallivanting around his paddock in what seemed like a happy-to-be-alive dance. I rolled my eyes in exasperation of course because I had assumed he'd be tired after his long drive from the day before.
I had already planned to give him the day off, especially after being stuck in the trailer for five hours the day before. Giving him a day off at my previous barn always carried a bit of stress as I never knew what mischief he would cause in his boredom. At the ranch, I don't have to worry about it. He's got plenty of room to run around, and if he digs a hole or bangs on the fence, nobody cares. I left him to himself and met up with best friend and her mustang, Rio.
After our stroll around the neighborhood, we dropped Rio and his rider off at home, and Speedy and I walked back to the ranch. I let him graze on the grass and then I sat in the shade and gave my tack a good cleaning. The ranch was quiet except for the buzz of insects and the sounds of the horses munching their morning breakfast.
Izzy has an older stallion to his north and three horses immediately to his south. He is enjoying their company. I've already taken a small bucket of treats out to the horses in front of Izzy in an effort to get to know them and their routine. I've also been doling out cookies to the stallion who seems to really enjoy the extra attention.
Speedy seems to have finally settled in as well, so he got turned out for the first time last night. The ranch owner will feed, and then open Speedy's paddock gate each night. In the mornings, his gate will be closed so that Willie can enjoy his day out. The horses will alternate at each meal time.
I go back to work officially on Wednesday, but I'll have to go in on Monday or Tuesday to get things ready for my students. I already spent Monday afternoon setting my classroom back up after the summer clean-up. All of this means that my daily four-hour barn visits are over.
When I get to the barn now, it's going to be hot, really hot, and our summer heat lasts until Halloween. While it's not quite as hot in October, we always have several days over 100 degrees. By November, our temperatures are more tolerable. That means that I have 10 weeks of hot afternoon riding in front of me.
Both horses have today off as we're driving over to the beach for the day with the dogs. It is such a relief to know that Speedy will have had twelve hours of turn out and Izzy can run off his energy any moment that he'd like. I'll still be at the barn every day, but now I won't have to spend my time waiting for horses to finish their 20 or 30 minutes of turn out.
I think we're all going to be a lot happier.
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%: