From Endurance to Dressage
I don't ride on the trail very often anymore, and the "trail" that I do ride is just the dirt shoulder of the neighborhood where my boys are stabled. There are a few short sections of dirt road, enough to canter a bit, but the whole thing is not really trail. I could toss Speedy into the trailer and drive the five minutes it would take to get to a decent amount of trail, but I just don't. In fact, Speedy hasn't done a real trail ride in at least six months. I often wonder if he misses it.
I moved to this barn at the end of August just as school was getting back into gear. One reason, among many, that I haven't done much trail riding is that my long time trail riding pal, Taz's Mom, has been MIA for quite some time. She's expecting some grand babies this summer so her focus has been on the mommy-to-be. Now that summer vacation is nearly here, I plan to head out on the trail more.
Saturday's lesson was a pretty rigorous one. I knew Speedy would have a follow up on Monday, so it seemed only right to do our version of a trail ride on Sunday. I am pretty sure Speedy appreciated it. He was more than happy to amble along snatching mouthfuls of green grass here and there. Most of you are probably horrified at the graze and ride strategy, but it's a well-honed skill for endurance horses. And once taught, it seems a bit mean to change the rules.
As we ambled however, Saturday's lesson kept coming to mind, and I realized that even while plodding along I could practice some of the skills JL was teaching me. When I felt Speedy plod along too slowly, I gave him a wake up! squeeze and was quite pleased with how well he sharpened up. Hmm, Saturday's lesson must have been remembered.
As we made the turn that takes us back toward home, Speedy's pace quickened. What I felt was that he was running on the forehand (in less polite terms, ass over teakettle) and his hind end didn't match the hustle of the front. Aha! Just like in the previous day's lesson, I slowed the front end and squeezed to engage his hind end. It worked like a charm. All of a sudden we were covering the ground, and I could feel that he was matched front to back. Success!
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%: