From Endurance to Dressage
I took a moment during Monday's lesson to appreciate the fact that we were schooling the quality of Sydney's right lead canter and not simply working to get one. I had a big grin on my face as JL instructed me to ask for rounder and then stretch him out.
That's what we schooled: rounding and collecting and then stretching the canter before he could drop down to a trot. I didn't catch him every time, but by the end, I was starting to get a feel for how much collection I could get before he lost his oomph and fell back into the trot.
This is gigantic. Huge. Colossal. Simply amazing. Although, we would have had it a year or more ago had I achieved control of my outside rein sooner. That's where Sydney's right lead canter comes from, control of the outside rein. As long as I am there supporting him, he can roll right into it without the need to whirl, bolt, or spaz out.
For this lesson, JL took advantage of the warm weather, and Sydney's ho hum attitude, to school some go forward … and now collect … go forward … and now collect. It's a simple exercise: slide your hands forward and ask for a bigger canter. Allow the horse to canter big for several strides, but then bring him back as quickly as possible to a rounder, more collected canter. Just before he drops into a trot, send him forward into a more extended canter. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
After several rounds of this, Sydney came back to the more collected canter with one request. It was a fun exercise, and I know Captain Awesome enjoyed the opportunity to really go forward. JL explained that this is a helpful exercise to master because when we're off the property and he's anxious, he'll be in a more forward frame of mind already, but he should remember the come back and collect exercise.
This is definitely one that I'll be practicing!
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%: