From Endurance to Dressage
Holy cow, has this been a marathon week of posts! If you're still following, thanks for listening. Since this was the biggest show in which I've participated, and probably the biggest show that most other people have been to, I've had a lot to share. Today, I present a few mini-stories that weren't necessarily worthy of blog posts on their own ...
The day before a show, I always get a little nervous that Speedy is going to lame himself in turn out, or that I am going to break an appendage (mostly this). I also go through this anxiety in the days before a big vacation. It's a phobia that is powerful enough to almost keep me at home. It is only through the sheer force of my stubbornness that I don't let it get the better of me.
On the day before I left for the championship show, I needed to turn Sydney out and let Speedy burn off some energy on the lunge line (no turn out for him; see the above fear of lameness). Sydney is not the easiest horse to turn out, and no matter how long I work with him, there are days where he jerks away from me as I slide the halter off. My method of control deserves a post in itself.
On this particular day, he whirled and jerked the rope before I even had my hand on the halter. And then he pulled a very dirty trick; he cow kicked me right in the belly and then pulled back. I won't go into detail, but I went home that night with a swollen and bashed up left hand, a rope burned right hand, and a purpling horse shoe print over my belly button. The next morning, it hurt to tie my shoes and button my jeans. I ended up being pretty sore for the first half of the show weekend.
Oh, but that's not all. To lunge Speedy, I used my super long, cotton rope lunge line. While Speedy was grazing, I dropped the line to pick something up that had fallen. As he tried to sneak away, I stepped on the line. When he felt the tension on the line, he whirled and wrapped the rope around a hind leg leaving a nice little rope burn. Crap.
How does all of that not reinforce my day before a show phobia? Fortunately, I toughed out the bruising and swelling and Speedy's leg never did much other than fill a little. But sheesh … what a day!
And Another One
The RV parking at the show was a total nightmare. Once you were there, getting out was actually impossible. Literally, people couldn't leave on the day they were supposed to leave. One of my claims to fame (not like there are that many) is being able to back my rig up ANYWHERE. And I mean it. I am sort of famous for my backing ability.
I think I just blew my record ...
If you have to ask, you've never needed to jack-knife a gooseneck. It happens. I just wish it hadn't happened after already spending more than $1000 at the show. I drove all the way home from LA praying fervently that it wouldn't fall out on the freeway. Fortunately for me, there are some great mobile windshield replacement companies. It was replaced by Wednesday morning. Add another $230 to my list of expenses. Oh well ...
Did I mention that there were vendors at the show? There were, and they vended, a lot. I ended up with a gorgeous pair of Horze Grand Prix Full Seat Breeches and a Mountain Horse Victoria show shirt in white. Even though I had my tried and true show clothes, I decided to wear my new stuff for my HOY classes. Putting on such fancy stuff made me feel soooo good! Nice clothes can do a lot for your confidence!
One of the more exciting things I was able to see at the show was Rafalca's farewell performance. She and Jan Ebeling put on a really dynamic and personal show. The video of the event is about 12 minutes long. The first part is Axel Steiner giving a small speech, but the rest is Rafalca's musical freestyle followed by some moments of her showing off a bit for the crowd. It was a great performance to see in person. Here's the video.
No You Didn't!!!
Oh yes I did! I bought Speedy a full-on blingy browband. Of course, I bought it after I was done showing, but I don't care; I love it, and I am going to use it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!
The Micklem bridle is really ugly on Speedy. The dropped nose band does absolutely nothing to flatter his face, but I like the functionality of the bridle in spite of how it looks. Finding a blingy browband that fits has been like trying to find the Holy Grail.
When I saw this browband by Red Barn, I was intrigued by the curve. My thought was that maybe it would close the gap a little created by the dropped noseband of the Micklem. I actually brought my bridle up to the vendor's trailer so we could compare the length of the browband to what I was already using. The size was almost a perfect match, so I bought it. And truthfully, at around $65, it wasn't a huge risk.
I tried to get a decent photo, but Speedy was not cooperating in the least, not surprising as that dude does whatever he wants.
The reason I couldn't get a decent head shot is that even with this lovely browband, the whole thing is still not very attractive. It's better, but still kind of awkward.
I have decided that having pretty things suits me. I am not such a fan of color, but I do like shiny black and white!
Tomorrow … some final thoughts on the CDS Championship Show.
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%