From Endurance to Dressage
Note: this all happened before bars and restaurants, movie theaters, and nonessential businesses were directed to close their doors. We're grateful that we were able to support our local small businesses one last time ...
Last week was pretty rough, and not because of the horses. This Corona Virus has really caused a lot of stress for most of us. As a teacher, I felt like my social responsibility had became nearly unbearable, but I think I'll talk about that another post. In any case, on Saturday, I needed to do something to clear my head and lift my spirits.
While I am at the barn, my husband typically goes hiking with the dogs. I think he was a bit surprised on Saturday when I asked if I could go with them, but he readily agreed. We loaded the dogs and headed to Kernville, a small mountain town just east of Bakersfield. Besides hiking, my husband wanted to pick up some Citra IPA from Kern River Brewing Company. It's sort of a big deal as they only release it once a year. Along the way, we stopped for a hike.
Yellow Dog lives for hikes. She thinks it is the best thing in the world. It's even better when all of her pack is there; that includes me. She runs and leaps like she's never been let outdoors before. You can't help but laugh as you watch her charging down the trail. It is no wonder that our four-legged buddies are used as therapy animals.
Tobias, our black lab isn't much of a charger. He prefers jogging down the trail, sniffing and investigating. Every once in a while he'll get his crazy on and blast across the countryside. Both my husband and I cringe as he does it though as his aim isn't always the best. Fortunately those wild outbursts only last a minute or so.
We didn't go too far, just long enough for everyone to start breathing hard. Since we were hiking along the Kern River, there was plenty of water for the dogs. My husband always packs water for them, but it's more fun for them when they can lay in the water and drink as they go.
When we got to Kernville, my husband asked if I wanted to go antiquing which is the oddest thing I've ever heard him say. My head snapped around, and I looked to make sure he hadn't been body snatched. He had a bit of a sheepish grin on his face, but he explained that he was hoping we might find a "new" dresser for one of our spare bedrooms. I thought it unlikely we'd find what I had in mind, but luck was with us. It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but the shape of it was too pretty to pass on. We bought it.
While the shop owner cleaned it up a bit and got it ready to load, we went and had lunch. Kern River Brewing Company is very pet-friendly, so it wasn't an issue to have the dogs with us for lunch. My husband bought his Citra IPA, and then we headed back over to the antique shop to load up the dresser. When we got home, I gave it a thorough cleaning and then decided to give it a light stain. I wish I had taken before pictures, but I was too far into the project before I thought to do that.
The stain I had on hand was nearly an exact match, so all I did was cover up the small dings and nicks that come with age. The purists out there will hate me for it I know, but it looks so much nicer spruced up a bit.
The dresser was an incredibly lucky find. It is solid wood with dovetail joints and quite sturdy. I had been searching for one that was distressed black or distressed vanilla, but finding gently used in the color you want isn't always easy. While I didn't get the color I wanted, I loved the shape of this one so much that we bought it anyway. If I ever do find the perfect piece, we have another spare bedroom where the dresser would fit nicely.
I couldn't have had a better day hiking, shopping, and having lunch with my husband. My horses are definitely an important part of my life, but spending time with my husband is what soothes my soul when the world is falling down around us. Be safe and look after your own loved ones.
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read