From Endurance to Dressage
Saturday Trail Ride
I had a really great trail ride on Saturday morning with dear friend and pony pal, Taz and his mom. She's been flu-bug ridden off and on the last month so we haven't ridden together in at least six weeks.
Neither of us had an agenda for the day so after some "where do you want to go" and more "where do YOU want to go" we ending up going east toward the park on a loop that's about 11 miles long. Since she hadn't been in the saddle for a while, she pleaded with me to take it easy on her. Well the joke turned out to be on me as we nearly flew threw the first seven or so miles. When I say "flew," what I mean is that it wasn't too far off an endurance conditioning pace. We were cruising right along at a good 5.5 mph pace. Not too shabby for two ponies who haven't done an endurance race in 10 months or so.
That particular loop includes some nice good climbs through the hills with very trot-friendly flat roads. I don't know what she and Taz were doing, but I was working my butt off to maintain a rhythmic trot and keep my contact steady at the same time. Not easy to do on twisting, turning dirt roads that have dips and sharp bends followed by uphill bursts! Taz's mom is great about letting me lead when she knows I'm trying to work on a particular dressage element. She kept Taz behind us so that I could really focus on getting Speedy G together.
Dressage on the trail is a lot of fun because my usually laid-back, behind-the-leg pony loves the trail. When we get into a good working trot, he really pushes off from behind and works nicely through his back. I don't have to keep asking for impulsion - he volunteers it readily. So when I "capture" that energy, I feel him really lift up through his back and shoulders and we float down the trail.
What better way to spend a Saturday morning?
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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%: