From Endurance to Dressage
I can't decided whether I am deliriously happy or just delirious. This horse. One minute he's brilliant, and the next it's like riding a camelephant. Yes, that is a word, and yes, I just made it up. So why the confusion? Well, when I am riding, Izzy feels as though his neck is crooked with his head reaching for the sky while his massive body is heavy and plodding. Camel head, elephant body - camelephant. But then I watch video, and I see a horse who is pretty much in an appropriate frame, and while not exactly energetic, he looks fairly obedient and submissive.
In fact, I have to look really hard for an ugly moment. As I watched last Sunday's video, I kept hitting pause hoping I would catch an awkward moment, but no.
His frame is definitely not that of an upper level horse, but his poll is closer and closer to the highest point, and he's looking somewhat uphill. His throat latch is slowly opening as he learns to reach for the bit instead of pushing against me. There is still plenty of that, but it's not so obvious anymore.
All week long, as I slowly f%&* up the progress that we've made during our Saturday lessons, I get so discouraged by what seems like a lack of progress. I pout and whine that it's a good thing I don't have any money because we can't possibly be good enough to even think about showing this summer. And then I watch my Sunday video, and I wonder why all the theatrics. Instead of looking like a camelephant, Izzy actually looks pretty decent.
I go from teary-eyed and depressed to OH MY GOD WE'RE ALMOST awesome. Frankly, it's a little hard on my equilibrium. I think they make drugs to help with the wild mood swings. Either that or I need to be hitting the bottle a bit harder. Less ice, more liquid gold. Then I watched the rest of the video and spotted this little gem.
And that's why I need a drink. TGIF.
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%: