From Endurance to Dressage
Regional Adult Amateur Competiton
Also known as, The Most Humbling Experience Ever. But don't let me get ahead of myself.
I can't decided whether the RAAC left me feeling elated, I got to go to a seriously fun show and I walked away some with really awesome prizes, OR did it leave me feeling like the world's worst rider? I think that for right now, I am feeling more disappointment than happiness, but in a day or so, I'll probably forget about the more humbling aspects of the show.
So where do I begin? A few pictures, crummy as they are, of the wonderful grounds might be appropriate. Click images to enlarge.
This is what I wrote just before I left for the RAAC ...
I am officially a member of Club LLPOF. That's Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! for those of you who aren't familiar with the acronym. (It happens to be a favorite among the staff at work.)
It turns out that even though I met my goals, I was still very disappointed with my scores. The judges were fair; there was no breed bias. We just have a long way to go. I didn't know it when I wrote those goals, but I very much wanted to be competitive, and I wasn't okay with finishing dead last. I'll post my score sheets over the next few days, but to show you that I actually met my riding goals, here are my canter and stretchy trot scores:
As disappointed as I am with earning scores in the high 50s while my competition earned scores that were 10% higher, I have to keep reminding myself that I have only been working consistently with a trainer for one year. Before I started dressage, I had never ridden in an English saddle (except for a few lessons as a small child), I didn't know how to post on the correct diagonal, and I was riding an endurance horse who was never trained to travel with contact.
This weekend showed me that our trot work is doing fine and can only get better. Our canter departures have improved dramatically; just a month ago we were earning 4s. Our actual canter work now needs to go under the microscope. You can bet that this winter Speedy and I will be cantering our butts off. For next year's RAAC, I want to feel confident that we can break into the top five.
More tomorrow ...
What a mixed weekend for you! I think you have done well - getting civilised canter departs both ways in every test is a big step forward. This stuff takes time, lots of time, lots of work (I know you know). Dressage is a terribly challenging sport (on lots of levels!) for perfectionists :o). I can understand your disappointment, but all the same I'm cheering for your successes this weekend!
9/4/2012 12:17:29 pm
Thanks, Kelly RGF. There were definitely some successes. Being tenth out of ten is not one of them! :0) They better watch out next year - we'll be even better!
9/5/2012 12:00:43 pm
I am not sure "winning" is my goal. I think it's more to just be in the mix competitively. Last place says "you're not ready to be here. I had a great lesson today and shared my tests with my trainer. She agreed that the canter is the next area for improvement. She was actually pleased the things that we did right, namely canter departures that were buck free. :0)
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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%: