From Endurance to Dressage
I am so glad that I didn't sell Sydney this past fall. I am even more grateful to Hubby for encouraging me to stick with him. I am absolutely head over heels in love with that Kiwi from down under. Thank you New Zealand Racing for sending this very lovely horse to the USA.
As I was preparing Speedy G for the two-day HDEC show, Sydney had eight days off. He was turned out plenty, but he had no under saddle time. I got on him for Monday's lesson, a little apprehensive; eight days is a long time off for a healthy OTTB. No worries - I was treated to a very well mannered boy. Tuesday was much the same, but an appointment and a sick day kept me from riding on Wednesday or Thursday.
Pick a Card - I'll take this one!
I worked a short day on Friday which gave me sufficient time to ride both boys. Even though I still wasn't feeling well, I hopped up on Sydney anyway (Speedy, too). I was so glad to find my boy just as relaxed as he had been on Monday and Tuesday. Each time I rode him, I worked on a small circle to the right to encourage Sydney to stand up and fill up my outside rein. He got better each day.
I enjoyed a very pleasant ride on Saturday. His left lead canter is something to die for. He has become so light in the front end that I can put him anywhere I want to. One difficulty that I've been having is using too strong of an outside rein. When I do, he drops back to a trot. On Saturday, I really focused on following his motion so that when I wanted to pick up his shoulders to move, I asked when he was already lifting his shoulders. AHA!
Wow. What a great feeling. By fine tuning my feel at the canter, I was able to get him even more collected. It was like flying ...
On Sunday, my plan was to work the right lead canter again in the small circle to help him balance and learn to move out. He foiled my plans by picking up a very balanced right lead canter without the need for the small circle. Now that he and I have finally connected emotionally, he is working so hard to do the right thing for me. Over the last few months, he has developed a keen sense of what I am trying to ask. If he thinks he knows the answer, he will volunteer before I can even ask the question.
During our loose rein warm up, the neighbor boy b-b-b-b-bounced around on his roller coaster car, startling Sydney. He gave a give "scooty" hop over, but then quickly returned to his pleasant trot with an ear flicked to me as if to ask, everything okay up there? I gave him a good boy pat and reassured him that everything was indeed, okay.
I have fallen in love with this horse ...
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%: