From Endurance to Dressage
Many thanks to Tracy over at Fly On Over for nominating me for the Sunshine Award. Tracy, a life time rider, has started a new adventure with her new equine partner, Miles. I am so eager to read more about their journey!
The Sunshine Award is for people who "positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." The nominee must do the following: thank the person who nominated her, nominate ten bloggers of her own, answer the ten questions given to her, and post them and the Sunshine Award button to her blog.
I love blogging, and I love reading others' blogs. The blogosphere is an awesome community of supportive, friendly, and genuinely thoughtful people. I could easily choose more than 10 blogs to receive the Sunshine Award, but rules are rules. Here are ten blogs that you should check out.
First, I would like to give a shout out to Mia over at Avandarre in Dressage. Mia is a quiet blogger, but she never ceases to inspire me or offer words of encouragement.
Second, I'd like to introduce you to Tara of Collieful Living. Tara is a military wife who also manages to have an equine life.
Third is Amanda of Keeping it Low Key. Amanda's blog is interesting to read for the same reason as Tara's. She's also a military wife who manages to balance her (sometimes) life abroad with her horses.
I am sure Sarah at Eventing in Color will be nominated many times, but that's because she's such a great person and equally wonderful mom to her OTTB. Check her out!
Austen, who writes Guinness on Tap, is also a blogger you should check out, especially if you're a dressage rider. She writes very openly about her successes and failures on her own Irish Thoroughbred.
The Longest Format is a relatively new blog about Hannah's forray into endurance riding. She was an eventer, and may still be, but for now she's trying something new!
Calm, Forward, Straight is another dressage blog that I follow. She could use an encouraging word right now though, as she suffered a nasty broken bone just recently. She definitely needs a Sunshine Award about now!
Mel, over at Boots and Saddles is always a good read especially if you like reading about endurance, dressage, or vet school.
I recently started reading Tales From a Bad Eventer. She's funny, and seems quite knowledgeable. Definitely pop over and give her a quick read.
And finally, you might try reading A Riding Habit. Bonita writes about her dressage experience from Down Under (Australia, I think).
There's a long list of other blogs that I read, but most have already been nominated! You might try reading She Moved to Texas (one of my favorites) and A Horse Crazy American in Germany (another serious favorite).
And now to answer the ten required questions:
Mares or Geldings: I am fine with either. I had only had mares until I acquired Mickey Dee in 2001. Since him, I've bought two other geldings (Speedy G and Sydney).
English or Western: Why is there never an endurance choice? (That always bugs me). The answer is English, of course. Growing up, it was always bareback, and once I became an adult, it was endurance. While I had a borrowed western saddle, I never felt any affinity for that riding style. I quickly bought several endurance saddles, one of which is modeled after a dressage saddle. That would be my Tucker Equitation.
Do you prefer "younger" or "older" horses? I bought Speedy G as a three year old and said, never again! At 42, I am simply not bouncy enough to bring along those baby Arabs. I don't get much enjoyment out of senior ponies either. If and when a new equine enters my life, I'll be looking in the 8 - 10 year old ranger range.
Do you prefer riding or groundwork? Riding, of course, but I love to do groundwork. It's essential for a good riding relationship. You always need respect from your horse while on your own two feet.
Have you trained a horse from ground zero? Yes and no! I've had many green horses, and I raised a foal from birth to two years old. I haven't taken a foal to riding status, but I've done all of the chunks in between. The closet I've come to starting and finishing a horse was Mickey Dee. He came to me as a recently gelded six year old with a lot of baggage who was only somewhat halter broke. I helped him become quite the model citizen.
Do you board your horse or keep it at home? Right now, I board at someone else's home, but I've done it all.
Do you do all natural stuff or just commercial stuff? I use whatever works and am usually skeptical of the all natural route. I like my products to have FDA or vet approval. I don't use too much extra anyway. The only products I use on my horses are Pyranha fly spray, Scarlex wound spray, betadine scrub, Mane and Tail, and Eqyss Solution (for manes and tails). And that's it.
All tacked up or bareback: Tacked up, but I do enjoy hopping up on Speedy G for short rides sans tack. Sydney isn't dependable enough to try that yet.
Equestrian model? I don't think I have any one particular equestrian hero, but there are many riders I admire: Steffen Peters and Hilda Gurney come to mind. I've seen Hilda ride several times over this past year and have actually spoken to her in passing. I like her matter of fact way of riding and her down to earth attitude.
What's your one, main goal while being in the horse world? I don't really like this question as it suggests that leaving the horse world is an option. Having horses is a way of life for me. I may change what I do with them, but I won't ever lose interest in horse ownership. The day may come where I am physically unable to ride, but even then I would volunteer as a scribe, sponsor, or owner of aged lawn ornaments.
Blog awards are more like "games" rather than any kind of actual "award." They're just an entertaining way to get to know each other, but I like playing so thanks again, Tracy, for the nomination!
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%: