From Endurance to Dressage
As a rider, I pretty much know where we struggle and where we do well. Speedy loves long lines but is less enthusiastic about bending. His trot work is better than his canter work. Even though I know this, I wanted to take a look at it statistically to see if I was right.
While I use Excel, Pages, and Google Sheets daily, my needs are only about entering data for charts and tables like who has turned in which assignment, who was tardy, and whose 100-meter time was fastest. Producing statistical data isn't something I usually do. However, we just started using a piece of software at work that creates a matrix of student scores and percentages.
When I give a particular test, I can see a spreadsheet of who answered the question correctly (or incorrectly), but more helpful is that I can now see the percentage of kids collectively who answered a particular question correctly or incorrectly. This data shows me where we're doing well as a group, or conversely, where I need to reteach.
I decided to use that same matrix to see where my own strengths and weaknesses at Third Level really are. For my spreadsheet, I entered every score from every Third Level test that I rode last year. There were 16 tests from CDS and USDF shows which gave me what I felt was a decent data set. I rode 3-1 eight times, 3-2 three times, and 3-3 five times.
Entering the data gave me what I wanted to know. Patterns started to emerge immediately. Even though I knew where we are weak - flying change to the right, I also started to see where we are strong - our final halt and salute. Patterns weren't enough though. I wanted to see hard data that showed exactly how weak or strong we really were. I needed my husband for that.
My husband is the comptroller for a large company, so he works with spreadsheets all day long. Once my data was entered, we sat down and discussed what exactly I wanted to know and why. With just a few key strokes, my husband helped me enter the formulas that I needed. The first thing I saw was that we do well at our first enter and halt. Our average score is a 6.63. In fact of the twenty-six movements for which I entered data, we scored a 6.0 or higher on exactly half of them, thirteen.
Of the remaining thirteen movements, we scored 5.1 to 5.9 on ten of them and 4.5 to 4.8 on the other three. Those are the movements I need to work on, and we have. Our three weakest movements have been the flying change from left to right (4.81), canter half pass right (4.56), and canter half pass left (4.75).
While we have earned some 60% and above final scores, five of them actually, our average at Third Level is 58.84%. We're really close to that 60% threshold. For me, that's my benchmark. I know others need mid-60s and even 70s to feel successful, but for me, earning those 60% scores tells me we're getting it. In fact, on the majority of the Third Level movements (except for nine), we've earned a 7.0 or better. I just need to pull it all together at the same time.
I'll get three chances this weekend. We're showing 3-1 and 3-3 on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday. It looks so much easier on paper.
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%: