From Endurance to Dressage
During my week long spring break, I had a little more time than I usually do to spend at the barn, so I hopped up on Speedy. It's been months and months since I last rode him, and since the end of October, he's only had a rider up on him two or three times. Even so, I rode bareback with a halter. Speedy is that dependable.
As we headed out into the neighborhood, I settled in for what I assumed was going to be a lengthy ride. I wasn't sure we were even going forward. Speedy's walk was so slow that time was traveling faster than we were. Since the ride was about changing Speedy's view, I figured he could do it as slowly as he wanted to. And then we got to the Haner Family Farm.
Mr. Haner is a very nice guy, as is his wife and now very grown up children. When I first moved my boys to this neighborhood more than ten years ago, I would often see the Haner kids playing outside. I always stopped to let them pet whichever horse I was riding. I don't think they are kids anymore. When I rode by last week, the Haner dog came streaking across the yard straight for Speedy's hind legs. On the other side of the road, Mr. Haner's neighbor's two horses came charging up from across their pasture. Speedy tucked his hind end deep underneath himself and prepared to launch.
Since I was bareback, I slipped right and then left but managed to hang on. I got control and promised Speedy that it was all okay. Mr. Haner called off the dog and apologized profusely. I laughed. "He's just doing what dogs do." I replied. And it was true. Mr. Haner always keeps some kind of herding dog because he has a farm full of animals. He keeps pigs, geese, turkeys, ducks, sometimes bees, and anything else that can be butchered or harvested.
By the time we left the Haner's place and made the turn toward home, Speedy was on fire. As quiet as the stretch was going up the neighborhood, the long side coming back was bustling. There was a pack of loose dogs, workers pouring cement in a driveway, horses working in an arena, and flowers blooming. At one point, I almost jumped off to walk back on foot. While there's no traffic, we do walk on the asphalt, and I was worried about Speedy spooking hard enough to slip and fall.
Instead, I sat squarely on both seat bones and collected Speedy into a little prancing ball. One neighbor we passed gasped in delight. "He's beautiful!" she shouted. I waved and laughed. If she only knew that riding that kind of "beautiful" comes with a Lord, don't let me die prayer. While Speedy was a handful, I never doubted that he would be mostly sensible. He was just super excited to be out, not stupid.
When we got back, I unclipped Speedy's reins and let him go. He's so sassy; he gave me a look and then marched himself back over to the mares. Apparently, they are more interesting than I am.
You're welcome, Speedy!
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%