From Endurance to Dressage
I was really, really frustrated with Izzy the other day. So frustrated that I talked to my husband about Izzy's expiration date. If he's not a real horse by (insert date), he's out of here! If you've worked with a green or young horse before, I am sure you've thrown out one of those dates yourself.
Fortunately, my husband is used to these tirades. His response is always, well, you didn't like (insert horse's name here) for a long time, and look how he/she turned out. Give this one at least a year. He's usually right, but I never believe him at the time.
I've been riding Izzy six days a week for most of the summer. He gets ridden twice a day on four of those days, trail ridden twice a week, and he gets a seventh day off. It's actually for me, but whatever. He should be getting tired, but he's not. He's just getting fitter.
One positive is that even after cutting out a lot of alfalfa, he's holding his weight really well even with all of the riding. See for yourself:
I was frustrated on Monday. On Tuesday, KG and I once again hit the trail. Within eight minutes (I know because I timed it), Izzy was cruising along happy and eager to be there. My frustration flew right out of the window.
Best friends are worth their weight in gold. Who else will listen to you complain about how little progress your green bean is making every single time you get together? No one, that's who. But KG does. She listens and then offers advice or at least encouraging words.
Her response this time was to ask me a series of questions.
KG: When did you first "try" to ride him?
KG: You couldn't ride him. He wasn't rideable, and you jumped off.
Me: Yeah, I know (where's she going with this?)
KG: When did you really start riding him?
Me: Late April/May, but we did a lot of walking. Then I went on vacation for two weeks at the end of May through the middle of June.
KG: That means he's had maybe 90 days of work.
Me: Or less, really.
KG: So, in 90 days, you are now trailering him by himself, tying him to the trailer where he eats, drinks, and behaves, and trail riding calmly in the lead. So what's the issue? Your 90 days (barely) under saddle horse is naughty in the arena? Of course he is! He's had less than three months of riding!!!! (Is she stupid?)
Me: D'oh! (and yeah, I must be stupid!)
Best friends are really worth their weight in platinum.
Izzy actually did really, really well yesterday. Here's the list of what he did right.
It was definitely a successful ride. And we've only done this four times! Hitting the trail is proving to be far more instructional for Izzy than the arena work, but I am hoping the success from the one will start to carry over to the other.
Happy trails and thank goodness for Steady Eddies!
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%