From Endurance to Dressage
It's just so hard not to be excited about progress, especially when it is so obvious. Sometimes progress comes in increments, and you have to use a microscope to see it. Not for us this week.
When I tacked Izzy up yesterday, I let Speedy wander as I have over the last few days, but he chose to stay down by the other horses. This meant that Izzy was alone. He didn't even notice.
He never looked for Speedy once. He kept his eyes on me and gently nuzzled my hair or arm, whichever was closest. He seems to have gotten the message that he may never use his teeth on me. I have to be vigilant still, but he is definitely showing more restraint in how he shows his love.
When I was ready to head up to the arena, Izzy was so mellow about having had to stand alone that I was tempted to just walk up to the arena without Speedy. I decided not to push my luck though, and I was a tiny bit worried about leaving Speedy completely unsupervised while I was riding. With Izzy trailing along behind, we went and rounded Speedy up.
Instead of tying Speedy to the arena fence, I tied him to the pasture fence which is 50 or so feet away. Izzy didn't bat an eye. We walked into the arena, I tightened my girth, dropped my stirrups, and put in the easiest ten minute ride of all time.
We walked a lap each direction with only one word about keeping our eyes on the job. We then picked up a trot after a very brief reminder with my spur that yes, trotting was required. We did a couple of changes of direction across the diagonal and then we picked up a right lead canter. It had a few stuttery steps and he was flat, but he made the canter circle with zero fuss. We came back to trot, changed direction, and did the same thing to the left.
Even though this is Not-So-Speedy Dressage, I do love 10 minute rides. Izzy does need to work though, but right now, getting relaxation is my first priority, and if I can get it in under 20 minutes, I am happy to call it a day. I am quite certain that once Izzy gets a day or two off, he'll come out high as a kite again, and we'll be out there for an hour instead of 10 minutes.
I think I'll appreciate the short rides while I can. I get plenty of the long ones with this horse.
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%: