From Endurance to Dressage
In the game of Get This Horse Really Broke, I make it my mission to outscore Izzy at each opportunity. He may get points on me now and then, but I always pull off the win at the end of the day.
Like I've already said, Izzy is getting his butt hammered each and every day. Why does he need a day off? He spends 23 hours a day doing whatever he wants. All I ever ask him for is 20 minutes of try and pay attention. If he doesn't pay attention, he's out there longer, but nothing I am asking of him right now merits a day off.
Over the weekend, the ranch owner had family visiting which included two young grandchildren. I rubbed my hands together in glee (and maybe even gave a sinister laugh) as I saw them head out the front gate on their roller skates with dad and grandpa right behind. I was just saddling up to ride, and I knew they'd be coming back by me while I rode.
Izzy warmed up well and was working quite happily when the roller skaters and their escorts came walking back down the road. Now I get that roller skating kids have the potential to be terrifying, but these guys were under ten years old and were walking more than rolling. There was nothing scary about the entourage. No one was screaming or zipping around. It was a group people out for a warm weather stroll on a nice day.
As they came back onto the ranch, at least a hundred fifty yards away, Izzy lost it. Or tried to. He head snapped up, his back hollowed, and he slammed on the breaks. Kind of. It was a full on Dick Move, but I was ready. Unfortunately, I had let the whip go some time ago, so all I had were my hands and feet, but I put them to good use.
I am not going to lie or exaggerate. I went full on crazy lady kicking him as hard as I could while jerking his face off. The higher he tried to get his head, the harder I jerked. The more he balked, the faster I pummeled his sides. Within a fraction of a second, he lowered his head and MOVED. He wasn't happy about it, but the moment I got his head back down, I yanked it around in a bend and booted his ribcage until he started stepping under.
It wasn't pretty, but I kept him working the whole time they walked past us. I never let him take a peek. I told him quite clearly that he has 23 hours a day to gawk and look at whatever he wants. I am asking for 30 minutes of focused work and by all that's holy, I am getting it.
As they drifted down to the house, Izzy's focus really did come back to me. Without a moment to rest, I opened up the circle and insisted on a balanced right lead canter. I think he was too shocked at the frenzied butt kicking he had received to even think about refusing.
After all of that, we then did some quiet walking with square halts. By the time we finished up, his coat was soaked and the earlier shine was long gone. I didn't care one whit; he dropped and rolled as soon as I put him away anyway.
I left the barn feeling like I had scored a huge point. If anyone wants to stroll through the front gate while I am riding, please drop by. Izzy needs the practice!
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%: