From Endurance to Dressage
In between rain storms, we had a freakishly warm day on Sunday. The high was somewhere close to 80℉, and that was just days after a massive snow dump in the mountains just above us.
It was predicted to be a wet week, so I got to the barn before the next storm could roll in. Both horses were covered with mud, but they were happy to see me and even happier to be groomed.
While I still have to persuade him to lower his head, Izzy is getting better and better about the bridling issue. Now, instead of just getting his head back down to our atmosphere, I am teaching him to put his head as low as I can get it to be bridled. For unbridling, he's always been good about dropping his head to his knees.
While searching for the non-existant one trick that would give me a finished dressage horse, I hadn't been paying attention to the progress that Izzy is making. We definitely still have wonky rides, but they don't come as often as they used to.
On our good days, we can trot a 20-meter circle while maintaining a consistent tempo while also being mostly steady in the bridle. Changes of direction still have to be done with a fair amount of preparation as his shoulders still need to be micromanaged. We can now (usually) canter a 20-meter circle when I want to without too much drama. Shallow loops and the long side are still too hard for us, but we're getting closer.
On Sunday, he gave me the best canter to trot transition possible. A judge would have given it a 10. He actually moved forward into the trot from the canter while maintaining an uphill balance rather than simply falling back to trot. It was amazing.
Patience with a good attitude is easy to do when your horse is being super-duper. I'll let you know how it goes when we have our next "suck-it-up-Buttercup" kind of ride!
1/12/2017 05:59:53 am
Alas, the micromanagement thing never goes away. I keep wishing it does, but you just end up micromanaging different things. Horses!
1/16/2017 03:17:07 pm
Very true! with Speedy - it's his hind end. I have. to. keep. pushing. it. forward.
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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%: