From Endurance to Dressage
I love Speedy. I really do, so keeping him active, if not in training is important to me. Those who suffer from arthritis don't do well without an active lifestyle. Fortunately, Speedy lives in a large, sandy field, so he can move all day. He and Izzy get pretty rowdy at times, galloping up and down the fence line and rearing as they "fight." Walking around and play-fighting are not really enough to keep Speedy fit though. He needs to be ridden.
With virtually all of my energy focused on Izzy with a laser beam intensity, It's been hard to ride Speedy, too. "T" the young rider whom I met in August was coming out once, sometimes twice, during the week for lessons. Over the pst month though, she was out of the state getting married and visiting family. Then I went to a show, our afternoon light got shorter because of the time change, and this weekend I'll be at another show. Riding Speedy has been solely up to me.
Over the past month, I've done a pretty good job of keeping Speedy ridden. We've done work in the arena and a couple of trail rides. I realized that it wasn't fair to ask him to work hard in a lesson without being ridden in between. So even though I've been busy with Izzy, Speedy still got worked. And then T came back!
Our schedules finally aligned, and she was able to come out for a lesson on Wednesday afternoon. Over the month that T was gone, I spent some time thinking about the pyramid of training. As I moved through the levels, I didn't have a good understanding of how each movement set the horse up for more difficult movements down the road. Of course, now I see the progression from Training Level through at least the beginning of Fourth. I've been thinking about which movements to teach T now to help her understand future movements.
Since T hadn't ridden Speedy in a month, we reviewed what she had learned so far: riding from her core to help keep her from tipping forward, shortening and lengthening Speedy's stride, smooth transitions from walk to trot and trot to walk, and crossing the diagonal. T is a quick learner, and she remembered the earlier lessons. On Wednesday, I introduced her to the three loop serpentine at the trot.
We started with just two circles, so she could learn how to straighten and change the bend for the next circle. Once she had that fairly well under control, I had her ride all three loops, straightening and changing the bend as she crossed the centerline. I discovered that it is really hard to call out all of the steps for a movement because the moment passes before you can get all the words out. I eventually found myself just saying YES, a little more, TURN, watch the shoulder ...
I have a trail ride scheduled for Wednesday with a good friend, so T will be joining us. I think she'll enjoy using some of the skills she's learned while out on the trail. If nothing else, Speedy will enjoy himself, and that makes me happy.
Have a great weekend!
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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%: