From Endurance to Dressage
Continued from yesterday ...
I didn't even get off between tests. I think there were only three rides between my two tests. Speedy was getting tired, so I spent a minute walking around the warm up ring, and then I parked him along the fence and chatted with some friends.
I didn't give up per se, but I knew that it wouldn't be fair to expect too much more out of my pony. He'd only been ridden three times in the past month or so. I figured just showing up was a win for us, and no matter how the test went, I was going to be happy with the day. And as it turned out, we did more than just show up.
I had definitely shaken the cobwebs off during Test 2. For this test (First Level Test 3), I felt a distinct feeling of familiarity. It was as if I had finally woken up: oh yeah, I remember what this is all about.
While I knew the test, the drama from earlier in the morning had gotten to me, and I knew I was better off having a reader. Hearing Chemaine's voice settled me even further, and I felt like I was able to really get to work.
I rode each movement as well as I could, but again, it certainly wasn't perfect. The trot lengthening was better, but Speedy still needs more push from behind.
Our canter was probably our strongest work. We had a string of 7s for all of that, except for the 6s for the change of lead through trot and the loop on the left lead.
The leg yield rode better than I think we've ever done (6.5/7.0) and most everything else felt quite satisfactory. As I mentioned yesterday, the halts weren't what we can normally do. The 4.5 really hurt. When I watched the video though, I thought we deserved a bit more especially since that movement included the half circle which I thought looked pretty good.
Here's video of the test.
Not a 70% test for sure, but I'll never turn my nose at a 64%. This score earned me the second of the three scores that I need to qualify for the Regional Adult Amateur Competition, a fun and competitive show. I also earned a second score for my Rosette Award, something I wasn't sure I'd get for Speedy this year.
Even though the number of riders was really, really small, Speedy and I still earned the High Point Arabian Award (a lovely ceramic vase), and we were the Adult Amateur High Point winner (a bucket filled with some serious goodies). Even though we were the only adult ammie pair to show up, we SHOWED UP! We did compete against another Arab, so that recognition was a bit more well-earned.
Here is the score sheet.
Riding this test really helped me see what we still need in order to compete at Second Level. We're close, but we need to tighten up a few things. Now that Speedy is sound again, I am looking forward to more lessons on him to get us to that next level in our work. We can do it, I have no doubt!
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%