From Endurance to Dressage
Right Now, Boring is a Good Thing
I hate to write boring stuff, but it probably happens way more often than I think. I try to write things that while maybe not brilliant, are at least mostly palatable.
Speedy's not making my job easy. He's being so darn sensible and willing that our rides have become, dare I even suggest it?, pleasant. And right now, that is a very welcome respite.
The world hates teachers. Ask anyone. We're over-paid, under-worked, glorified babysitters. If only that were true. Every teacher I know has turned to the bottle to ease the frustrations of the day. September is one of our toughest months. So if Speedy wants to be the King of Boring, I have his tiara ready and waiting.
Yesterday dawned cool and clear - the best weather we've had in weeks. I had a tough day in the classroom, as did most of my colleagues, and was desperately hoping for a less dramatic afternoon at the barn. Speedy was only too happy to oblige me.
Those of you with green beans - raise your hand and repeat after me. In a few years, my green bean will be absolutely awesome like Speedy who used to be an incorrigible green bean. There. Now we all feel better.
I spent some time at the walk, something that I am doing more and more of lately. If my horse can't be supple at the walk, things aren't likely to miraculously improve at the trot.
We followed that up with a few trot lengthenings - I only hope he's ready to show those off when Chemaine comes at the end of the month. They're not fabulous, but at least there is now a difference between his working trot and his lengthened trot.
After that, I schooled the canter and the counter canter. And darn it if the little dude didn't just absolutely wow me. Again, take this all with a grain of salt. After 31 kids calling each other dicks, fake vomiting, raising their hands 1,000 times to ask about the directions that I JUST FINISHED GIVING, it wasn't that hard to impress me.
Speedy can now consistently hold the counter canter, and has been able to do so for quite a few months. I am now trying to improve the over-all quality. A friend reminded me that Dr. Christian Schacht, the German trainer with whom I ride several times a year, says there is only canter left or canter right. When you keep that thought in mind, the counter canter becomes much easier.
I focused on keeping my inside hip forward, but I expanded my focus to include a more relaxed core. I don't mean I turned into a sack of potatoes, but rather, I worked on going with the motion of the canter instead of being braced myself. Speedy got instantly softer and more balanced.
And as promised, I finished the counter canter by staying on the long side and did a change of lead through trot. And guess what? Easy peasy for the King of Boring!
9/17/2015 06:13:37 am
Those awesome rides are what keeps us all going, I think! Glad Speedy was there for you when you needed him. :)
9/17/2015 06:19:44 am
I like your image of the kids raising their hands, and an old-fashioned blackboard. Did you know that here, kids raise their fingers in class? (Index fingers)
9/17/2015 07:57:30 am
Boring rides are kind of great. It's the interesting rides that are frustrating. ;-)
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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%: