From Endurance to Dressage
Most of my "around town" friends already know this story, but many of the blog readers may not know how the switch from endurance to dressage actually happened. I've said a few times that the focus of this blog is endurance experience and tips crossed with a focus on good equine health practices to (hopefully) produce a somewhat balanced dressage rider. In retrospect, I think this blog was actually born at the 2010 Just Coe Crazy ...
Just Coe Crazy
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The “Just Coe Crazy” endurance ride, held last June 2010, was tough. The ride was held in the mountainous Henry Coe State Park, near Gilroy, California. The park is expansive and, as I would later learn, vehicle access is very limited.
I should ease your mind by saying that neither of us was injured in anyway, even though we did require on-the-trail assistance and a trailer ride back to camp. And while Speedy G and I didn’t ride the official course in the allotted time, we certainly did ride 50 miles!
The “Regular” Part of the Ride:
The morning started out warm and humid with coastal fog settling in over camp. We headed out on the trail at 6:30 a.m. already hot and sweaty. The trail climbed immediately, which was a bit of a good thing since Speedy G tried to buck as I got on. As soon as he started the climb, he put his head down and got right to work … for the next 15 hours.
The ride had three main sections: a 30-mile loop that was split into 2, 15-mile sections, with a 20-mile out-and-back that was done between the 2, fifteen mile sections.
At the end of the first 15-mile section, Speedy cruised into the vet check with a pulse of 49, well below the 60 beats per minute criteria. He was sound, had excellent scores for hydration and gut, and overall looked really perky. We left for the 20-mile out-and-back, knowing that we needed to pick up the pace.
This 20-mile section proved to be even more challenging than the first loop had been. It was nothing but steep climbs and descents. The footing was rocky and rutted. There was virtually no place to trot, and when the ground was free of rocks, the climb made it too difficult to move out. When we arrived back at the vet check, Speedy again vetted through with flying colors. We finished the loop in 3 and a-half hours, leaving just enough time to ride the final 15 miles. We left the vet check at 3:00 p.m. with two drag riders following close behind.
As we left camp we were told there was just one short climb and then it was downhill to the final vet check. The short climb turned out to be many miles long, too many actually.
Part 2 Here
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%