From Endurance to Dressage
If you would have asked me on Saturday night how I thought Sunday's show was going to go, I would have said that I didn't even want to go. Why waste gas money when you know it's going to be a disaster?
Our ride on Saturday was terrible. Like knock down, drag down terrible. I spent 45 minutes trying every single thing I knew to get Izzy to let go of the bit. His jaw and poll were so locked that I had no steering and rode through bolt after bolt. All he could do was charge forward.
Eventually, after kicking his ass every way I knew how, I finally got off and threw him in the round pen and just sent him forward. I really wanted to just send him down the road, but a round pen by definition is ... round, so he kept coming back. To my dismay I should add.
After 5 minutes, I know because I timed it, he was heaving and sweating rivers. I got back on him and walked him for ten minutes hoping that he was at least thinking about relaxing.
After cleaning him up, I gave him a healthy dose of electrolytes with his Platinum Performance. When I turned him out into his paddock, I asked him to please just consider letting go of some of his tension.
This photo is not from Saturday, but I wanted to report back on the new fleece half pad. It's working great, and I really like it, but if I order another one, I think I'll go with the medium. My last one was a bit narrow so my saddle sat on the fleece trim instead of inside it. This one is a large, but it ran bigger than I expected.
I was a bit peeved when I untacked Izzy because my new half pad was dirty and sweaty. My girth was also soaked through, and I seriously considered scratching from the show. He was going to be a jerk anyway and my tack was already dirty ... somebody please call the wambulance!
I gave myself a stern, quit your whining! and proceeded to give my saddle and bridle a (half-assed) cleaning, but at least they looked presentable. I sent Best Friend a text letting her know to meet me at 5:30 a.m., and then I went home to try and start some positive thinking.
Since I am a bit of a Pollyanna, I was able to give myself an attitude adjustment. I was still peeved at Izzy the next morning, especially since he was a jerk as I was trying to groom and brush out his tail. As soon as Best Friend showed up, she got to hear all about how rotten he was being.
And then he walked quietly onto the trailer. In the dark. With a grouchy owner. My heart softened immediately, and all I could see was my fabulous boy who just needed my help and encouragement.
When we arrived at the equestrian center it was chilly and we were alone. Izzy craned his neck looking at the horses in the corrals, but with Best Friend's help, he stood pretty still to be braided. We checked in, got his number, and headed for the warm up.
His nerves were all a twitter, but he never felt like he was going to lose it. He just couldn't keep his focus on his job. One of my Tehachapi friends said that if she hadn't known how old he really is, she would have thought he was just a four year old. That's good for me to hear because I think he should be acting like the eight year old that he is.
During the morning, several fans of Bakersfield Dressage made it a point to come and say hi and ooh and ah over my big brown (gold) horse. It was so nice to see them and even nicer to have their support. Having friends who root for our success is such a huge motivator for me.
Spoiler alert: Izzy did not show brilliantly, but many people encouraged me to stick it out with him; they were that impressed with his potential. I have trouble seeing it, but apparently Izzy oozes charm and has that certain sparkle.
Tomorrow: Introductory Test A.
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%