From Endurance to Dressage
We had a scorcher of a week last week. Each day was well over a hundred degrees. While it wasn't the official reading, there was one day when my truck read 111℉. I'll ride when it's hot, but my limit is 100℉, and the temperature had better be falling. If it's 100℉ and still rising, I'm out.
For the entire week there was nothing I could do with my horses besides wrap Izzy's foot while standing in the shade, feed both boys a super wet beet pulp mash, and freshen up their water each day. So on Saturday morning, I was out there early, determined to ride both horses.
Once again, I rode with the ranch owner. Since her mare, All In, was feeling a bit fresh from the slightly cooler morning, we stopped by the arena so she could work out some of her wiggles. I followed on Speedy who plodded along as though he'd already been ridden. We ambled around the arena while the ranch owner put Allie to work trotting and cantering. When she felt Alli's mind was on her rider, we headed out to the old golf course.
As we were finishing, Speedy got sassy like he always does on the way home. It was our turn to school in the arena while the ranch owner sat watching. Whenever Speedy is a bit of a stinker, my "go to" is to ask for flying changes. It took one or two asks before he gave them to me, but by the last ask, the change was so smooth that I didn't even feel it.
As we worked, the ranch owner asked some questions about both simple and flying changes; she's been working on the simple change. Speedy was more than happy to demonstrate how to set up a horse for either of those transitions. We showed the ranch owner that schooling for any change can be practiced riding two connecting circles. In the place where the two circles meet - I and L in the diagram below, you only need to straighten your horse completely, half halt, and then change the bend as you strike off in the new direction.
Speedy enjoys working especially if he gets to go out with a friend. He's not too keen on being schooled in the arena by me, but as long as he knows it's going to be a short work out, he'll do the thing. And if he thinks his ride is about showing off to one of his gal pals, he's all in.
That's what makes him a rock star.
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%: