From Endurance to Dressage
I had one ride between my first test and second test so there was no time to go back to the warm up to fix anything. These afternoon rides are the hardest for us because it's so hot. Speedy is a happy enough guy, but he's also lazy in the heat. This creates a lack of forwardness which contributes to curling and being downhill. So instead of more schooling, which only serves to annoy the heck out of him, we stood and watched Chemaine Hurtado's ride (she earned the Open Point!).
Not so long ago, I struggled with First Level's test 3. That thing is pretty hard. Now here we are at Second Level chipping away at its third test. Second Level is not easy, but I think its test 3 is comparatively easier than First Level's test 3. Again, it's not an easier test, but it makes a lot more sense than 1-3.
Even though my goal was no score under 6.0, we still earned a single 5.5. The rest of the test was filled with a long line of 6.0s, fifteen of them in fact. We earned ten 6.5s and a 7.0 for our final halt and salute. Our final score was 62.073%, which was higher than our score for 2-1. That always makes me happy.
After watching the video, I think the judge was very generous when he scored my halts. I've been schooling the halt to trot to halt which has made Speedy very "jumpy" in his once very quiet halts. As a result, he's super antsy about the halt because he's expecting me to goose him forward into the trot. That's definitely something I need to work on quieting down.
While I am delighted about ditching the 4s and 5s that we started with, there are definitely a few things we can work on. Our simple change is still not confirmed. Sometimes we get it great, other times not so much. The upward transition to canter is pretty reliable. It's the canter to walk transition that's still not.
While our season has seemed to progress from insufficient (we've had more 4.0s than we've ever had before) to slightly better than satisfactory (we're getting some nice 6.5s and 7.0s), I am actually quite pleased with what we've done so far.
We've earned seven scores in the 60% range. Those seven scores mean that we are now qualified for the California Dressage Society's Regional Adult Amateur Competition and the CDS Championship show. Speedy also has enough scores to earn CDS's new Horse Performance Award at Second Level; I just dropped the application in the mail.
We're going to another two-day USDF show this weekend. I am feeling like I have a much better handle on Second Level, but you know how that goes. My goal continues to be to eliminate any score below 6.0. We'll see what happens. Either way, I am really pleased with the direction we're heading. We haven't mastered the level, but it's no longer so intimidating.
Here's the video.
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%