From Endurance to Dressage
On Friday afternoon, I rode for nearly an hour working on relaxation. We hacked around the galloping track, schooled in the warm up, and then rode in both show arenas. Speedy was very relaxed by the end of the day.
Because of scheduling and who knows what else, I actually rode Training Level Test 3 before Test 2. I was actually kind of glad because I felt far more pressure to do well on T3 as it was one of the tests I would ride on Sunday in the RAAC classes. I was able to just get it done without dwelling on it during T2.
My first ride was at 11:20 a.m. so I had plenty of time to braid, tack up, and get ready. I entered at A feeling the best I've felt in a long time. The judge's booth was changed over night so I suspected that Speedy would be spooky as we trot up the center line. I was right. We normally score quite well as we enter at A, but the whole way to X he was going forward while trying to dart left or right. I kept my spurs on and worked both reins pretty firmly, but he didn't get away from me. Victory!
For the three shows prior to the RAAC, Speedy has managed to spook hard enough to jump off the track causing us to lose two points for going off course. I figured that no matter how hard I had to ride him, I was not going to let him scoot away. While we didn't go off course, we still lost some points for the shying; we only earned a 5 for movement one, and the judge wrote some pretty harsh comments on her further remarks, Rider needs more tactful hand aids especially with [a] fairly severe bit.
She also docked me for rider's correct use of the aids as well as for our apparent lack of harmony. I see where she was going, but I had to keep him moving forward. After that little fight, I had no more attempts at spooking during the rest of the weekend. My "correction" obviously hurt our score, but I felt that it was the best I could do right then.
One interesting thing I noticed about this test and the T3 test the next day was that as we completed our 20 meter circle on the right lead and had to trot straight to the next corner at H for a trot transition at C, Speedy got really heavy, and I had to use a ton of ugly rein to slow him down for the turn. This is something I need JL to help me with. For both T3 tests we earned 4s for our transition back to trot at that particular spot.
Aside from the shying as we entered and the heavy right lead canter, I was very pleased with the test. I didn't make any course errors, and Speedy never got away from me. In retrospect, it probably was a 58.400% ride. At the time, it felt so, so much better than what we had done before that I was certain we had to have earned at least a 60%. Here are the results from that test. We finished 13th out of a class of 14 with a score of 58.400%
Here is the score sheet for Training Level Test 3. Click images to enlarge.
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%: