From Endurance to Dressage
I was too busy to watch this test until yesterday afternoon, and you know, it's not half bad. I've been doing a lot of thinking about Izzy's scores over the past 5 shows (four schooling and this one, a CDS-rated show). He's definitely struggling, but Speedy and I had very similar scores at Intro Level. And while we also had GREAT scores at times, Speedy had/has his share of difficulties too.
What has thrown me for a loop was that Speedy's resistances were very subtle and quiet, but they created the same net effect - scores in the 58% range. We bounced around from 53% to 65% a lot. I would get one issue fixed, and then Speedy would come up with something else. We had a run of shows where he gave a gigantic spook during every test.
Before I wax any more poetic, watch the test ...
This was a California Dressage Society rated show with an R judge, licensed to judge through Fourth Level. That typically means the judging is a little more strict than at a schooling show, but not as strict as you would see at a USDF-rated show. We scored a 58.750%, just two points shy of a 60%.
As I watched the video, I was surprised at how non-awful it looked. Izzy's tension is obviously visible, but I need to focus on the fact that it's not as bad as it feels to me while I am on him. I probably need to find a way to embrace the tension and make it a more positive tension. I am desperately in need of a lesson.
It's hard to be frustrated with a 6. For so long, my goal with Speedy was to simply not have any 5s. Izzy only had two of them on the front of the test and no 4s!
If you've been following along, you know my goal at the schooling show we did two weeks ago was to not get 4s on the walk. We were only partly successful. For this test, we got a 5 and two 6s for the walk work. That's progress.
The trot work also had some good moments. There were no spooks like we've had in at least two of the shows we've done. We earned a 6 and a 6.5 for our 20-meter trot circles.
The judge's Further Remarks were absolutely spot on: Nice horse but a lot of tension today. Concentrate on suppleness and relaxation. Working on it, sir, working on it.
Tomorrow ... Test B.
9/3/2016 04:33:31 pm
I am trying to see it, but it's tough. :0)
I find it simultaneously annoying and reassuring to get comments about things I'm already working on. On one hand, duh, I know, tension! (We have that problem too). But on the other hand, at least it's not like getting blindsided with something I wasn't even aware of as an issue!
9/3/2016 04:34:21 pm
That's exactly how I felt - glad I know what i am feeling, but yeah ... duh. :0)
8/30/2016 06:23:36 am
Poor guy is so tense, but you just sat there super chill. Way to ride through it, and not a bad score to boot! Well done!
9/3/2016 04:35:23 pm
I have to say that is the one thing I like best about my riding. I am almost unflappable and I don't even think about what the judge might be thinking. So yeah for me?!?!
Hands down, no question about it - improvement every time you two get out there! More than I can say for me and my green mare - we go up and down :)
8/30/2016 05:14:50 pm
Whether it's true or not, thank you so much for saying it, Elinor. You don't know how much I needed to hear that today. Just a few minutes before reading your comment, I had just gotten off the phone with my trainer. I asked her to tell me honestly whether or not I was the right rider for this horse.
9/3/2016 04:37:02 pm
Thanks, Elinor. You said exactly what I tend to see, but it's nice to know that others are seeing the same thing. And it does stink when it seems as though everyone else is having an easy go of it. :0)
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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%: