From Endurance to Dressage
Let me first attempt to climb over the mountain of self-doubt that is sitting in front of me.
I am already trying to ditch an elephant named Fear. Now I find that a ginormous mountain has actually been blocking my view. How have I not recognized that there has been this mountain in front of me? You know the song, We're going on a bear hunt. We're gonna catch a big one. Uh-oh! A swamp! Can't go under it, can't go around it. Guess we're gonna have to go THROUGH it! Splish, splosh, splish splosh ...
That's how I feel about Mt. Self-doubt. Can't go under it, can't go around it. Guess I'm gonna have to go OVER it!
It is so much easier for a perfectionist like myself to believe the scores of the more critical judges. Sure, change that 6 to a 5. That 7? No way, must be a 6 at most. Heck, it's probably closer to a 5. That 4? That's probably right on the money.
I am making it my goal right this very minutes to accept the good scores as readily as I do the low scores, and this particular test might finally be proof to myself that the judges are truly marking it as they see it. Judge Carolyn Doran gave me a 3 and an 8 on the same test! Was she overly critical and overly generous in the same 45 seconds? I don't think so.
First piton in position ...
So here is how I felt during the test. We came in at A straight, and halted fairly squarely (7). The trot off wasn't the best, but it was okay. Trot circle felt good (7), and the canter transition happened much better than usual (6). The stretchy trot though was hit and miss (5). Free walk was a little pokey (6).
And then Speedy took a deep breath and sighed. Uh-oh. It wasn't a sigh of relaxation. It was more of an I think I'm done sigh. My next trot circle felt labored (6) and I knew we were in trouble for the canter which ... just ... wouldn't ... come (3). Right then I remembered some good advice: ride each movement. If something goes wrong, focus on improving the next movement. I know that our trot up the centerline is always solid so after we transitioned out of the canter between B and F, I sat up, put my leg on and nailed the turn at A. I kept my eyes up and on the judge and smiled as we trot up the centerline (8)!
We scored a 62.500%. The only other rider in the class scored a 64.167%, 4 points higher. So while we earned a second place, we weren't too far off the winning score. Click images to enlarge.
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%