From Endurance to Dressage
Do you remember that I mentioned the neighbor had guys using chainsaws to prune their massive tree on Sunday? No biggie if not. But yeah ... there was a guy in the tree hacking off branches and limbs for most of the morning.
Sydney got to hit the trail as I knew riding in the arena with the snapping of branches and the snarling of a T-Rex wasn't going to give me a good dressage school.
By the time I was done with Sydney, the weather had cleared and the arena was warm and sunny. The chainsaw monster didn't sound nearly as loud, and Speedy seemed oblivious to the whole thing anyway. I saddled him up and faced the noise.
Seriously. Speedy deserves some kind of noise tolerance award. How many dressage horses would happily school through the cracking of tree branches and the roar of a chainsaw? I don't think he ever even looked at the tree!
And to add to my pride, we finally were back on track. I kept his trot rhythm nice and slow, but in return, I insisted that his butt be engaged the whole time. There was no fussing on his part, okay, it was only minimal, but close to nothing.
He was much more balanced with no tripping. We did lots of nice figure eights where he accepted the contact through the change of bend. When I asked for the right lead canter, he still popped his head up, but we were able to focus on maintaining a steady rhythm that was easy for him to hold which helped him to lighten off my left rein.
We also did lots of trot to canter to trot transitions which he got better at as we went on. I kept the work to under a half an hour as I didn't want him to get sore. I know myself how tough it is to do even a small amount of extra exercise. Now that I am once again asking him to use his butt correctly, I want him to do it happily.
I don't know how he felt about the work, but I was pretty dang happy!
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%: