From Endurance to Dressage
and it looks as though I might be for a few days more. Time, and the judge, will tell. So how did the 6:30 a.m. ride go? To be honest, I was this close to ditching the whole plan in favor of spending the morning browsing the world wide web: also known as dropping the ball, "weenieing" out, flaking, or just being lazy. Fortunately, my need to succeed reared its head and my lazy inclinations were shoved back into their box.
Promptly at 6:00 a.m., I loaded up my change of clothes, blow dryer, straight iron, towel and headed to the barn. The time change was actually working in my favor. By time I got to the barn, there was more than enough light to saddle up.
I hopped up on Sydney with one goal in mind: riding him into relaxation even if we only walked. We made it to the far end of the arena before the squeal and duck away appeared. He almost unseated me. If he only knew that it would take just one more head fling and hop to toss me ...
Fortunately he doesn't know.
I managed to right myself and immediately went into a quarter hour of bend around my leg exercises. As soon as he squealed and spooked, I was tempted to hop off and get the lunge line, but I decided to see if I could just work out the anxiety from the saddle. It took exactly 17 minutes of bend to the left, bend to the right, bend, bend, bend. Once he offered a trot, I decided to see what we could do with it.
I am learning that I can't cave to his desire to have a loose rein. It's not helping him, and it's not teaching him anything. Over the last few rides, I've let him know that I am in control of the situation, and that he can do this. It wasn't an easy ride, but I could feel my confidence growing as was his.
The whole thing was a great opportunity for both of us. Discombobulating his routine is one thing that contributes to his anxiety, and since he'll eventually be asked to show in the early morning, I know Wednesday's early morning was good practice.
When I pulled my saddle off just after 7:00 a.m., I smiled as the steam from his back wafted through the sunlight that was just breaking over the hills. It had been a very nice morning.
My plan is to ride again this morning. Here's to sucking it up, persevering, and walking the walk!
One last thing: special thanks to my wonderful barn owner who opened up her house to let me clean up and change before heading to court. She even had fresh towels laid out for me and told me to hang them on the door to use tomorrow. It's nice to be so welcomed! Thanks, RM!
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%: