From Endurance to Dressage
You've probably already heard about it, but if not, Free Rein is one of Netflix's newest releases. It's essentially The Saddle Club for a new, hipper generation of kids. I watch very little TV, especially during the daytime, but I binge watched the first eight episodes on Thursday afternoon. In one sitting. I finished the last two on Friday. It turned out to be much better than I thought.
The show is about Zoe and her little sister Rosie. They're Americans, but they've gone with their mother to her hometown on a little island off the British coast so the girls' parents can reevaluate their relationship. Zoe bumps into some girls from the riding stable next door which sets the stage for all sorts of adventures.
Just like in the Saddle Club, there is the snooty rich girl and her spineless best friend; the cute riding assistant whom all the girls moon over; the dark and interesting stable hand with a mysterious past; the struggling farm owner; and the two girls who become fast friends with Zoe.
Even though all of the same old plot lines are rehashed (only non-rider Zoe can soothe the dangerous and wild black gelding), I only did a serious eye roll at the beginning. Once the show got going, those same old story lines were told with a fresh look.
The horses are all well tacked up, and the girls wear stylish clothes and (mostly) well-fitted helmets. Zoe is incredibly likable, but it might be her little sister who steals the show. The two girls who play Zoe's new friends are also quite entertaining, especially Becky. My favorite part of the show though is the beautiful scenery. Many of the outdoor scenes were actually filmed in Shropshire, England.
Charlotte Dujardin makes a cameo appearance in the last episode which also includes a "dressage" scene. The final episode wraps up the season's big problem, but it closes with two big cliff hangers. I won't spoil it for you.
It's not House of Cards or anything, but it's pretty entertaining. If you do watch it, or if you've already seen it, let me know what you thought.
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%: