From Endurance to Dressage
So? How did the simulator go?
All I can so is wow, wow, wow! That was by far the best lesson money I have spent. If you live anywhere near Ventura, or you hear that Luke will be in your area, I strongly urge you to give him a try.
The Ventura County Chapter of CDS put on a really nice clinic. They had lunch both days, although I didn't stay on Sunday to eat, and all of the participants were super friendly. The clinic was held at Spirit Equestrian which is quite the lovely facility. Check out their website.
I snapped a few photos of the grounds on Sunday, but my photos don't do the place justice.
I was in the afternoon session. Barbro Ask-Upmark started with a brief lecture explaining how Luke came to be and how he works. Since I was first, I tossed my saddle up and cinched him up. He has such a live presence that it was weird to cinch him up so matter-of-factly without worrying about pinching him.
The first part of the ride was simply about assessing the rider's balance. Barbro set Luke to walk, trot, and canter for one minute. My job was to sit like I normally do and hold the reins. There was no need to steer or use my legs. At the end of the minute, Barbro printed out my results so that I could see what I needed to work on.
Here's a photo of one of the other riders during her lesson.
My core proved to be pretty stable, but Barbro helped me lengthen my spine. The simulator also showed that my left leg is weaker than my right; my left hand is stronger than my right; and my right wrist is blocking the flow of energy.
During the first day, Barbro helped me with my pelvis position, rock it back, and had me work on taking a firmer hold of the reins, a necessity for establishing a good, steady contact which is an area I've really needed to work on. The second day we focused on contact and maintaining the contact while steering. I discovered that I hold the left rein too long in the turn.
More tomorrow, including a video.
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%