From Endurance to Dressage
After finishing my rides on Saturday - I was done before 11:00, I asked Jen, the show manager, if she needed any help. Jen is a good friend, so I always ask for a job when I am at one of her shows. For this show, which turned out to be much larger than usual, she was a bit short staffed, so she quickly put me to work.
Normally at this show, the warm up ring is right next to the dressage court, but because Jen needed two rings, the warm up was pushed out into an area behind some trees. That meant the warm up ring steward couldn't see when riders were finished with their tests, so she was sending the next riders up just by guessing. Jen asked me to serve as the ring steward for the two dressage courts.
Jen didn't realize it at the time, but she gave me the day's best job. I parked myself at the in gate which offered me a perfect view of both dressage courts. As each rider gave their final salute, I radioed the warm up ring steward letting her know she could send the next rider. As each rider came to the gate, I reviewed the schedule to confirm which ring the rider was in even though they already knew. I was able to see their name and which test they were riding. And since I was responsible for informing the warm up ring steward how the pace was running, I was "forced" to watch all of the rides.
It is amazing what you see and hear as a show volunteer. Since I wasn't visiting with friends or milling around, I had the opportunity to catch small things that I would have otherwise missed. I saw a rider get bucked off at C. I quickly ran up to catch her horse as the EMT swooped in to see if she needed medical assistance; thankfully, she was fine. I watched Hilda Gurney "read" a test for a student from memory; she didn't even have the test in her hand as back up. I watched Eddie Van Halen's sister-in-law handle a very fractious, but talented horse at Third Level where she earned a 67%. I also watched Hilda Gurney ride Londina at First Level where she scored 71.8%
After the last test was scored and recorded, Jen, Morgan - who also worked in the office, and I headed into town for dinner. Of course we laughed and gossiped about the day - all kinds of weird things happen at a show. We also talked about the next show. In less than two weeks, Izzy and I will be in Santa Barbara for another show, but this time, Jen won't be running it; she'll be showing. Morgan will also be there assisting her mom with their clients. We're all really looking forward to it.
Stay tuned for Sunday's rides ...
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%: