From Endurance to Dressage
Sounds fancier than just intro b. I am very proud of this test, but don't mistake pride in a job well done for big headedness. We have a long, long way to go, but this was definitely a gigantic step in the right direction. I know we had a good ride. I don't need the judge to know that, but the validation sure feels good. There were bobbles here and there, but for most of it, we had an elastic connection, and I now know what that feels like. Speedy's head wasn't cranked up in the air, and he was moving forward nicely.
I scanned the test so that you can read the judge's comments and see how she scored each movement, but before you scroll down, I'd like to share a "funny" that happened. Before I do that, I should explain why I started showing more than a year ago even though we weren't ready.
Showing can be a nerve-wracking experience. I knew it might be just because endurance races can be extremely stressful. Horses die at those events (very few any more, but still). I started showing way before we knew anything because I wanted to deal with all of the show anxieties before my scores mattered. That first summer I showed, I went off course, had a judge make an error, saw a rider kicked, got to a show late, rode in the rain, and on and on. Now? I am not nervous, I know Speedy's not going to kill me, and I am not afraid of the judge.
So ... what happened? As we were trotting around the outside of the dressage court on our warm up lap, a spectator took off his large straw hat. Or, at least that's what I think happened. In any case, Speedy did a lovely rollback on his haunches, and leaped INTO the dressage court. It was perfectly graceful, and I sat it as though I was expecting it. He came to a halt immediately and let me turn him around to see what the heck had happened. The spectator(s) apologized profusely, and I just laughed and said it was far better to jump into the court than out of the court, immediate disqualification for that! The judge of course instructed me to exit at A. I think she thought I was going to jump back out the way we had entered!
In complete honesty, Speedy's little leap didn't faze me at all. We exited the court and walked right over to the scary spot where he sniffed all of the spectators and made everyone laugh. The judge allowed me a minute or two to settle him down, and then she rang the bell. After all of these shenanigans, I wasn't nervous, but I was surprised at how well we ultimately did.
Without further ado, here's the test:
The standout parts (for me) are the lack of fives. Not a single one on the whole page. Almost as good is the number of sixes: one, just one lonely six. And those eights - holy cow! I almost passed out when I saw five, yes five eights, especially the one for rider's position.
I forgot to mention that I did earn a blue ribbon, but I knew I would since I was the only rider in this class. I was a bit surprised at that because it was a fairly large show. There were two courts going for the entire show. SInce it was a three star event however, the caliber of rider was probably higher than I usually see at the one-star shows. Maybe that explains why there were no other intro riders. I like ribbons, but I like good scores more than the color of the ribbon. Blue with a 72.5% is a good combination. I think I earned it!
This test definitely proved to me that we are ready to move on to more canter work. So from now on, we're doing Intro C and Training Level 1. Until we can get the canter transitions to be a bit stronger, that's where we'll hang out. We might be there a while, but at least we've had some definite upward movement!
So once again, Go, Speedy, Go!
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%