From Endurance to Dressage
Crazy Coyote March 2009
This is a follow-up to yesterday's post ...
Tada! Perfect example of the the chair position. Yep ... there I am with my foot too far out in front of my girth. You will notice that my heel is down, however.
I wish I had one of those onscreen pens that football game announcers use. You know the ones where they draw x's and arrows and cross stuff out? Well I would be drawing a BIG arrow pointing right to that offensive right leg. I remember why I was riding Speedy like this: he was being way too forward and I was trying to brace myself in the saddle by pushing off with my feet.
My upper body position isn't all that bad, though. My shoulders are a bit rounded which means I need to open them up a bit more. My coach will be happy to see that my pinky is actually outside the rein, which rarely happens. I do need to rotate my hands a bit more to the outside and then close my fingers on the reins.
Git-R-Done April 2009
Here's a photo showing the opposite problem: upper body way too far forward with the leg just slightly back of the girth. And in this photo I don't even get a little credit for my hands. These are piano fingers!
I should mention however, that my body position is pretty typical for an endurance rider. We stay off our horse's backs and mouths. Much of the concussive forces are absorbed though the rider's ankles, knees, and hips, rather than passing them through the horse's withers, back, or loins. We also need our horses to make many of the navigational decisions (left, right, over, under), since the race requires a partnership between the horse and rider. We want our horses thinking about where they're going, and we need to be able to trust them to help us pick out the safest route through technical footing.
Blah, blah, blah ... when will she get over this endurance thing?
Stay with me, I'm getting back to the dressage stuff!
So you have to be wondering why in the world someone would deliberately put bad photos of themselves all over the internet and then INVITE people to gawk at them. I get your concern, I really do. I think that the only way to get better is to figure out what you're doing wrong. After seeing these photos for the first time, I cringed and vowed to improve my endurance seat through dressage.
20 Mule Team February 2010
And here we are ten months later ... This is still before I started working with my coach, but I had been taking a monthly lesson, reading numerous dressage books, and watching as much dressage on TV as I could. I definitely have a much better seat here. I should add that it was pouring rain, the wind was howling, and the temperatures were pretty low. That makes me feel even better about my seat!
So now I just need to put all of this together and do it in my dressage saddle! Cha Ching's mom loves the Facebook page, Judge My Ride. This is my Judge My Ride page. Let's hear it!
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%: