From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy and I finally had some success while schooling the movements from Second Level. Since he and I got back to work in December, every ride has been a struggle. Not with his behavior, he's always a saint, but rather with his lack of motivation. It has felt like he just wasn't going to do it. Collection with impulsion is hard, and Speedy's not known for being high energy.
For the past several weeks, we've been schooling the quality of the simple change, but we haven't really put it all together. Same thing with the rein back, turn on the haunches, and the shoulder in. I've been asking Speedy to do each movement, but they've all been done in isolation.
At the same time, I've kept my Second Level Whinny Widgets book handy. I study it while I am brushing my teeth, cooking dinner, or having a glass of wine. My focus has been on how to correctly ride from one movement to the next. Memorizing the tests is also part of my plan.
On Saturday, I finally felt as though we were ready to string all of the movements together. I didn't have test 1 completely memorized, but I had enough of it down that I was able to string together a test. And in fact, I threw in some of test 3's counter canter to really see where Speedy is; he nailed it! Well, maybe not completely, but we actually did each movement without needing a do-over. Some of the movements are undoubtedly going to earn us 5s, but others are actually in the 6/7 score range.
Our walk and trot work is good, and for us, that's a good thing because the shoulder-in has a double co-efficient as does the rein back and walk. We're going to lose points on the simple change for now because they aren't as crisp as they need to be. My sitting trot continues to need improvement, so I'll probably lose points for rider position in the medium trot.
We have two months until our first show of the season. I am feeling really encouraged!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%