From Endurance to Dressage
If you've been a reader for at least a few weeks, you know that I had to part ways with the big, brown OTTB. I sure liked that guy, and I learned a whole lot by riding him, but we had finally reached the place where the job was just not fun together.
That means I am on the search for a second horse. I know most of you wonder what's wrong with having just Speedy G. My husband is asking me the same thing. The answer is that while I adore my gray pony, he's just not enough to fill me up. I need two horses to satisfy that itch.
I have a very rewarding job, thanks to a recent move, and I am very fulfilled in my married life. But right now, the third part of who I am is not complete. I physically need a second horse.
I wish I was content with work, husband, and one horse. And maybe in time, I could grow to appreciate just having Speedy G. It would sure take a lot less time and money. But at this moment, I can hardly think of anything other than completing my little horse family.
But. I am being patient. I want it to be the right horse. Not that I can guarantee that of course, but I am going to try and find an equine partner that is suited to do the work I want to do. I've been scouring the online ads, trying to narrow my focus. JL gave me some great advice the other day when I brought her an ad for a purebred Arabian gelding doing lower level dressage work.
Her response was, "But that's what you already have. You need something different."
She was right. That prompted me to sit down and create a list of what I want and need. For the most part, I am pretty un-choosy (is that even a word?) when it comes to horses. I can usually grow to love them all. If they have four legs and are sound, I'm in, but that kind of lackadaisical thinking isn't going to result in a top-notch dressage partner.
There are tons and tons of brilliant dressage horses out there. And most of them would fit into my plans just perfectly. Unfortunately, nearly all of them are way, way out of my budget. And therein lies the rub.
We're not broke, poor, or struggling, and the reason we don't live month to month is because we're careful, very careful. We prioritize, plan, and frequently go without. We save, invest, plan for retirement, and carefully monitor where our money goes.
My truck is 14 years old; my car is approaching 10. I don't go shopping for clothes, jewelry, or shoes unless I need something. We could certainly save more for our retirement, like the $20,000 a year I spend on the horses, but we realize that a well-balanced life should be lived every day, not just after retirement. So, we travel, we keep a cabin, and I ride and show.
Our life also can't be about only me, even though more often than not my husband is persuaded/dragged to join my individual journey. If I spend too much on the horses, which are for me alone, it robs him of that balanced life we strive so hard to create. If I spend $20,000 on a horse, he doesn't get to enjoy that trip to Portugal or go to the Breeders' Cup or spend a weekend in Las Vegas. And those are all things that I enjoy doing with him. It wouldn't be fair to deprive him of those opportunities just so I can ride a nicer horse.
So as I determine my budget for this new horse, I have to make sure that I leave myself enough to cover any unforeseen problems. My elderly car or truck might break down, Speedy might get sick, or our twenty-three year old dryer might decide to stop drying. I also need to make sure I have enough to pay for that trip to Portugal that we're taking in June.
In short, could I come up with $10,000 or $20,000 to buy a new dressage horse? Yes. Do I want to? No. What I want is a horse that fits into the financial life-style that we lead which is one that celebrates moderation in all things. Especially all things equine.
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%: