From Endurance to Dressage
I am blessed to have two moms. I am even further blessed because my two moms treat each other kindly and with respect, and it's not because they have to, but rather because that's just the kind of women they are. I didn't show as a child so I didn't really have a "Show Mom" growing up, but that's okay because now I have two who have done nothing but cheer me on every step of the way. This a tribute to my moms on Mother's Day.
My dad, mom, and me in 1971. I love this photo because I look so much like my mom here!
My first mom, the one who actually gave birth to me, is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. There is not a mean or snarky bone in her body. She will drop anything that she is doing in order to run to the aid of anyone in need, friend or stranger. She is generous with her money, time, and compliments.
Do you remember the Robert Fulghum book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? If not, you can find the important text here. I bring this up on Mother's Day because it was my mom who taught me all of the things on that list and more. She taught me to be kind, to share, to take turns, and to recognize the difference between right and wrong. She also taught me to do the right thing even when no one is looking. She made sure that I knew who God is and encouraged me to develop a relationship with him. She also insisted that I go to college and urged me to get a degree before marriage. And on a more practical level, she taught me to save for retirement and plan for my future.
I only lived with my mom until I was twelve years old, but the lessons she taught me were the kind that form the person you are. I don't get to see my mom very often, but I am grateful to her for making sure that I grew up with a moral compass that would guide me for the rest of my life.
My dad, Judy, Hubby, and me in 2009.
I met my second mom when I was only eight or nine. My parents had already been divorced for three or four years and my dad had had several girlfriends, but none of them impressed me very much. I liked Judy right away. (It didn't hurt that she had a horse!) I could see that she was different from my dad's previous girlfriends. She was sweet and kind and seemed to like my sister and I right away. She was just a soft, comfortable person. I can remember thinking that I hoped my dad would keep her since she was so nice.
I know it seems silly to want someone around just because they're nice and sweet, but frankly, I needed someone just like that in my life. Living with a single mom and a troubled little sister was difficult. Judy was always a friendly face in what was a confusing and rough world for a pre-teen girl struggling to find balance.
When I moved to my dad's to live full time, Judy was a safe haven during my adolescence. She helped ease my transition from an angst-ridden twelve year old to the well-grounded adult I would become. She was a voice of reason to my dad when boys, make up, and shaving my legs became an issue. She simply offered a reasonable view every time trouble crossed my path, and she never said no. She always tried to show me a better way through the example she set. Her way was one of balance and sensitivity.
I don't get to see Judy very often either, but I am also grateful to her for being a mom to me when it probably would have been easier to just leave my problems in the hands of my parents. She helped me become a woman with good sense who knows the value of being loved. Oh, and the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? It was Judy who taught me that warm cookies and cold milk are good for you ... and brownies, banana nutless bread, apple pie, and a host of other baked yummies.
I hope all of you have moms like I do. Competing, whether it be endurance, dressage, or some other discipline, can be challenging. When we have a solid support system made up of loving family and friends, we are always successful no matter what we score or how we place.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Judy!
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%: