From Endurance to Dressage
And I am doing it on both horses!
Last week, I mentioned that Izzy is due to have his hocks injected on Friday. With that in mind, I've kept his rides really simple with just walk and trot. Since I need to work on my sitting trot anyway, and I can't sit if the trot is big, Izzy's rides have been about trotting slowly while he stretches his topline.
It would seem counterintuitive to sit on a horse whose back is slightly sore because his hocks are sore, but we have had several really productive rides. It took a few days to see it, but over the weekend, Izzy's back was finally loose and swinging, thanks to his recent chiropractic adjustment.
Now that I am able to sit the trot for longer and longer, I am finding that I am a better rider all of a sudden. I can help Izzy maintain a more consistent tempo, and I can "catch" him more quickly when he goes to hollow his back. He even seems to prefer that I sit. He doesn't feel as out of balance, and he's been spook free.
An interesting side note is that I ride Speedy one hole lower on my stirrup leathers than I do with Izzy. Over the past week, I've had to go down a hole for both boys. I am guessing that means that I am sitting deeper with a longer leg.
Since I still can't ride a lengthening while sitting, I've been riding Speedy in a more collected trot. If he gets to go slowly, he has to do it with good hind leg activity. I am finding that by sitting the trot, I feel like I have more influence over his back and withers.
I don't think he's as much of a fan of the sitting trot as is Izzy, but he's starting to listen to my seat, and honestly, the dude is really just a saint. He would definitely prefer that I let him fall on his forehand while letting his hind end trail out behind us, but he's a team player, and he wants to please me, so he's been working as hard as I have.
Over the past two weeks, I haven't done any rising trot! Hopefully I'll be able to sit Speedy's medium trot by the end of October when we make our Second Level debut (fingers crossed!).
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%: