From Endurance to Dressage
It has been a hot minute since I've ridden Speedy in a saddle. I don't ride him very much anymore, but it had been a month since anyone had come for a lesson, and Speedy was beginning to feel rather put out. On Saturday, I saddled up and hit the trail.
Before tacking up though, I took some time to give Speedy a thorough grooming, which he enjoyed immensely. I scrubbed at the gelding crud that has built up on his hind legs, and I Tiger Tongued his face as he groaned in pleasure. If you've never used one of those Tiger Tongues, get one; your horse will thank you! I also used my Grooming Gloves which pulled off tons of dirt and hair. I also banged his tail and gave it a good conditioning. By the time I was finished, Speedy was looking quite fancy and nowhere near 19 years old.
I decided to head out to the river and check out how deep it is downstream a ways. I was shocked when I came out of the cherry orchard and actually saw the river. Normally, I have to ride almost up to it before I can see it lazily trickling by. It is so far up and out of its bank that it is covering that neighbor's lawn, paved road, and walkways. In fact, at one place behind me in the photo above, I had to ride much closer to the house than I ever have before because the river has saturated the ground so throughly that it is rising up through the lawn.
As I was forced to ride further and further from my usual track along the river's edge, I brought Speedy to a complete halt when I saw that my path down the whoop-de-do was completely filled in with water. I didn't have to tell Speedy twice, he happily turned away from the bog. We followed the channel back towards the barn. There is an old bridge that I used to cross many years ago, but it eventually became unsafe. For the first time, there is now water under that bridge. I bet there hasn't been water there in 40 years.
The ranch owner has already moved this year's hay to the top of the property. The neighbor that I stopped and chatted with was in the process of seeing what machinery he could relocate. I was riding on his property, so I stopped to let him know what was going on at the ranch where my boys live. Many of the neighbors who live along the river are getting pretty worried. As the massive snowpack begins to melt in the Sierras, the river is definitely going to get deeper and much wider. For now, all we can do is wait.
Let's hope for a cooler than normal summer.
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%: