From Endurance to Dressage
Not the whole month of course. That would be stupid. And painful. And I am lazy.
I did go without stirrups on Saturday though. I even took them off my saddle completely so that I wouldn't be tempted. Except that's kind of a lie as I didn't remove my leathers for my own benefit.
Laurel, the neighbor, has been riding Willie a lot lately, but she's been doing it in a jumping saddle. And they're not jumping. They're doing some trotting, but the truth is, she and the ranch owner are doing just as much walking and talking and laughing as anything else.
Laurel has been complaining about her knees and ankles though, and after even a short ride, she's tired and sore. It's a long story, but Deborah, the ranch owner actually has a dressage saddle and suggested Laurel give it a try instead of her trusty hunter saddle. This is where I come in.
Neither of them has much experience with a dressage saddle, so Laurel asked if I would help her get Willie tacked up. After much digging through the tack room, we found some old dressage pads, a couple of girths, and some leathers. After switching things around a bit, we got one of Izzy's girths to fit (Willie actually needs a smaller one), two of the pads served the purpose of one good one, and the leathers were hung.
When Laurel got on though, we found that the leathers were way too long for her, and no one wanted to spend time punching new holes. Speedy's a well broke pony these days, so I just slid my leathers off and put them on her saddle.
From there, Laurel rode around adjusting the stirrups up and down until she found a length that worked for her. Undeterred, I hopped up on Speedy without any stirrups and proceeded to work through the elements of Second Level Test 1.
Not bragging, but I am so pleased with the development of my sitting trot! I still can't sit a big trot lengthening, but I can now actually sit the trot! We even cantered and did walk to canter to walk transitions. Now that I know I can, I am going to ditch my stirrups a few times over the next few weeks.
Not that I want Speedy to fail at Second Level, but I don't want to be the sole reason we fail either. If he's willing to work hard to do his part, I can't offer him any less. No stirrups it is!
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%: