From Endurance to Dressage
When you don't follow your own rules, stuff gets broken. That's why I have rules. I have had too many things broken, trompled, sat upon, and plain old ruined. Do you remember the brand new halter that I just bought for Izzy? The one that I had to spend a bit more on to get sized right? The one I ordered a halter name plate for? Yeah. That one.
I rarely hard tie my horses. It's a rule I almost always follow. Instead, I use a Blocker Tie Ring to attach my horses to fixed objects. I have lots of them so that I can use them whenever and wherever I plan to tie my horses. On Friday, I tied Izzy in the arena while I gave T a lesson on Speedy. I did not use a Blocker Tie Ring. I tied him loosely so that he had ample room to swing his hindquarters around so that he could keep an eye on us, but I did tie him.
I was never more than 20 meters away, and I had just finished a good schooling ride on him. Even so, he managed to get bored. At first, he started pawing. I yelled at him, and he stopped. Then he did it a few more times. I yelled again, and I even walked over to him and gave him a small pep talk. This horse hasn't pulled back in a long, long time. Like years. On Friday, I saw him test the halter by leaning against it just a little bit, and the next thing I knew, the halter lay discarded on the ground, and my big brown jackass was bolting around the arena.
The halter was still useable - albeit ugly, so I popped it back on him to lead him back down to the tack room. I have a rope halter, but I haven't needed it since he's been so rock solid tied up. I hung my beautiful, newly ruined halter on its hook and resigned myself to the fact that it was back to the rope halter.
Over the weekend, we went to a cavaletti clinic - more on that in a day or so, where Izzy stood quietly tied to the trailer with a Blocker Tie Ring all damn day. Of course I rode him in the clinic, but he stood like an absolute gentleman the entire day without a single naughty moment. He was out of my sight for the entire duration, except when I popped down to check on him. Did he even think of pulling back? Nope.
Every once in a while, I must do something that pleases the universe because I drove home from the clinic with a brand new leather halter. Since my CDS chapter had to cancel all of our shows this summer, we've put on clinics instead. As a way to thank our membership, our chapter chairperson rounded up a bunch of donations to give to riders in each lesson group. When I saw the halter, a gift from Melanie Lindbeck, proprietress of Show One More Time, I couldn't believe my luck! This halter is even prettier than the one I had bought.
It has all of the features of the first one - a crown piece that buckles on both sides, padded crown and nosepiece, adjustable chin, and a clip at the throat, but it's Havana brown with brass hardware instead of black with stainless steel. It also has some fancy stitching and an ergonomic crown piece, something the first halter lacked.
Izzy will not be getting hard tied with the leather halter, my reminder of why we have rules has been firmly reestablished. I'll probably switch back and forth between the new halter and the rope halter for a while, but I am sure it will be another half dozen years before he pulls back again. In the meantime, I've ordered another halter plate, this time in brass.
All righty then, let's try this one more time!
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%: