From Endurance to Dressage
This idea has been rolling around in my head for some time. I may not get this completely right, so read it with the proverbial grain of salt. It should also be kept in mind that my experience is only with Introductory and Training Level. However, I can appreciate First through Fourth Level and the following will eventually apply.
I really, really, really like the 2011 tests. Since I didn't ride above intro with the 2007 tests, I can't say whether the current model is worse or better, but either way, I like the 2011 tests. What I like about the tests is how ... to use a term that we toss about in education ... how scaffolded they are. When we use that term in the classroom, we mean the idea is supported from the bottom all the way to the top.
Now that I've gone through the Introductory and Training Level tests and am restarting the intro tests with Sydney, I constantly find myself saying, oh, I get why I am doing this!
Here's a baby, baby example: Intro A: enter working trot rising, medium walk at X. Intro B: enter working trot rising, halt at X. Another example: for all of the intro tests, transitions are (mostly) done between the letters. By Training Level, some of the trot transitions at done at the letters, but the canter work is still done between the letters.
Very cliché, I know, but I wish I knew then what I know now. When I first started showing Speedy in the summer of 2010, I didn't know what the purpose of the tests were. I couldn't see that the intro tests were introducing small components of the next level. Now that I've moved up a level, I can see very clearly that what I am doing at Training Level is helping prepare us for the movements at First Level.
As I was riding Sydney on Monday morning (and what a great ride he gave me!), I kept it in mind that we won't be an Intro team forever. We WILL move up. So we did our twenty meter circles focusing on rhythm and relaxation, but then we did some loopy changes of direction in anticipation of the 1-loop serpentine at Training Level. Speedy doesn't get the advantage of schooling what's ahead because I really don't know how to do what's waiting for us. But once he and I get it, you can be sure that Sydney will reap the benefits of my knowledge.
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%: