From Endurance to Dressage
Were you a Seinfeld fan? Do you remember the episode where the gang goes to India for Pinter's (Peter) wedding? This post is going to go something like that!
I slept like the dead. Arriving home at 9:00 p.m. after more than fours of driving will do that to a person.
The drive from Hansen Dam Equestrian Center to Bakersfield was a bit tricky as I was either in deep shade or heading due west with the sun directly in my eyes. Interstate 5 is a BIG freeway with not enough lanes, there are four in each direction, and LOTS of trucks. The "Ridge Route" crosses at 4,000 feet, a low pass (by California's standards). The speed limit is 65 mph for cars, but 55 for trucks and autos with trailers. It can get a bit dicey at the end of a weekend as people are returning home.
Last night was particularly busy. There was a lot of construction on the road which frequently funneled four lanes of busy traffic down to three. When you have a valuable passenger in the back, hitting the brakes hard because a little Mercedes wants to squeeze past is just not what you want to do. I took a deep breath of relief when I finally hit the valley floor and the traffic was able to spread out.
Claudia puts on a really relaxed and welcoming show. She spends most of the show driving around in her golf cart checking in with riders to see if they need anything. She's encouraging and very approachable. She gave Speedy and me a very welcomed compliment that meant a lot. After my first test she told me that we were looking a lot better than when I was there in the late winter. She felt that we had a better frame and that Speedy was moving much better behind. Awww ... Thanks, Claudia!
I met two of the nicest Haflingers, Whiskey and Kaira; they're moms were awfully nice, too.
Wendy and Mea had come to the Ride-a-Test held the day before so they saw what the parking was like ahead of time. They quickly realized where the one shaded spot was and made sure to grab it on arrival. Speedy was not so lucky, but the ladies were nice enough to let me sit on the boulders nearby so that I could hang out in the shade. Sorry, Speedy!
Let's just say that my debut at Training Level 3 was much better than I expected, except for one little bobble, but the low score didn't reflect what I felt. And I think what I felt was right. A small group of spectators thought it went quite well aside from the "issue" we had. Training Level Test 2 was a hot mess, but I am okay with it as I took home a very valuable piece of info.
I am tired and haven't had time to even look at my score sheets so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear how Test 3 went. Onward and backward!
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%: