From Endurance to Dressage
First things first. Thank you so very much for refraining from offering advice the other day. Even more thanks go to those of you who kept your criticisms to yourself. Seriously ... thank you. To those of you who commiserated, I really appreciate that you were willing to share your same feelings of suckiness; sucking collectively is far better than sucking alone.
And with that ...
I had THE BEST ride on Sydney on Saturday morning.
During the school year, both boys get ridden about 4 days a week. When school is out, they each go 5 days a week. I try to keep my weekends free so that I can hang out with Hubby, but Friday's weather was so unbelievably hot that I chose to do barn chores instead of ride. It was so hot (and unseasonably humid) that Bakersfield earned the national extreme temperature for the day - 106℉/41℃. No kidding.
So instead of riding on Friday, I squeezed in quick rides on Saturday morning. The weather was seriously improved and almost felt cool. It was 68℉/20℃ when I headed to the barn at 7:00 a.m.
Speedy and I went through our usual practice from our Wednesday lesson. We've been doing some one loop serpentines from the Training Level 3 test. They're fun to do, and Speedy seems to enjoy them. It's also a good way to practice our sideways movement, especially left leg to right right.
When I get to C, I do the other half of the serpentine, H-X-K, and go back to A for more. I also like to throw in a change of direction across the diagonal to reverse the direction of the serpentines.
But on to Sydney!
I really took JL's advice to heart and started asking for more. From the walk, I asked for "quicker" which meant a few taps of the whip. No biggie. Sydney marched forward happily. When we moved on to the trot work, I again squeezed and said, go! Sydney happily gave me more energy. To slow down, I simply sat back, with no rein pressure, and Sydney dropped back into the walk. We did some 20 meter trot circles, both left and right, asking for more activity than we had the other day. Again, no biggie.
Since all was going so well, I decided to use the long sides of my "dressage court" (it's 20m by 45m) to work on maintaining a steady rhythm without the circle. I couldn't have been more pleased. We trot the long side and focused on balancing and slowing for the corners. After tracking left for a lap or two, we crossed the diagonal to repeat the exercise tracking right. I was so proud of how happy and relaxed Sydney was in his work.
And best of all? I truly didn't give a damn what I looked like. It was the most fun I've had in a while.
Pitons back in place ready for a summit bid up Mt. Self Doubt ...
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%: