From Endurance to Dressage
I rode with Chemaine again on Sunday, starting with Speedy. Right away he was much more forward and definitely in front of my leg. Dude was actually a complete firecracker!
We started with some quick leg yields, but with the successful tune-up from the day before, we were able to move quickly on to the simple changes. We don't have a simple change yet, but Chemaine thinks we can get it within the next month. We have the walk to canter - even if it does take us a moment to set it up. The canter to walk is where we're stuck.
We continued with the canter into a turn on the forehand exercise from the day before, which both of us were able to execute more fluidly. You can see a minute of that here.
To help me help him to sit more deeply and stay connected through his hind end, Chemaine gave us a new exercise. For this one, we started out by trying to do a medium canter down the long side into a 10-meter circle at the end. When Speedy plowed through my aids, Chemaine quickly the modified the exercise.
I am not sure why Speedy woke up with so much energy, but he was a complete pistol. He repeatedly told me that he didn't need to carry himself, and that it was perfectly fine with him to just blast through the canter letting his momentum carry him forward.
To modify the exercise, Chemaine had me do a "medium" canter on the open side of a circle in the middle of the arena with a 10-meter circle in the first and second corners back to a medium canter across the middle. Like this:
This is after having done it to the right with a not-so-cooperative gray pony. By this point he had given up the fight and was willing to lighten off my outside rein a little bit. Not enough for the simple change, but at least we could make the turn without me having to drag him to a halt into a rein back.
The canter into a 10-meter circle isn't a new exercise for me, but the way we did it was. The first 10-meter circle helped me get control while the second one helped me really balance him and get him on my aids in preparation for a bigger canter. Once I can keep him respecting my outside rein in the medium canter, we'll be able to canter the long side into two 10-meter circles in the corners and then repeat a medium canter down the next long side into two more 10-meter canter circles.
For the next month, Speedy and I have about 10 million half halts to perform. Speaking of which, Izzy has at least as many to do himself. His final ride of the clinic is coming in tomorrow's post.
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%: