From Endurance to Dressage
The Teacher Learns a Lesson
I wrote a post the other day about giving my track students a jumping lesson. You can read it here. Our track meet finished up this past week, and to my total surprise and delight, my class won the trophy for fifth grade. We were all pretty excited. Okay, me more. I might have actually squealed and done a happy dance.
We had a great meet. I had lots of kids win blue ribbons, red ribbons, and even some white ribbons. I was probably the most excited about those white ones as I know how hard it is to not be the best at what you do.
I was really proud of all of my kids, ribbons or not. To even enter an event at the track meet, you have to first go through tryouts in your own classroom. The kids just can't sign up; we'd have 400 kids wanting to do the 100 meter dash. This means we hold tryouts, selecting the top three for each event. As it happens though, a kid can only participate in three events which means most everyone can participate if they're willing to do an event that might not be their favorite.
I was the judge/coordinator at the high jump. Talk about an event that is not anyone's favorite. Holy cow that thing is hard. I was so surprised to see tears of frustration on the faces of those kids who missed their third jump. In case you don't know how it works, you get three chances to clear a height, and if you can't, you're eliminated.
Each time someone was eliminated, I called them over for a chat. Teary-eyed or just disappointed, I let them know how awesome it was that they even had the guts to come out and give it a try. High jump is HARD. Those kids were brave and simply amazing.
Palm to face. Uh ... just like dressage is HARD. After two days of coaching kids through disappointment (and sometimes winning!), I had a moment of mine own. Sheesh! Why am I being so hard on myself about Second Level? It's just as hard as the high jump! I should be telling Speedy that he is awesome for even being willing to get out there and give it a try.
And I did. This weekend as I rode, I laughed at our awkward moments (uh ... sitting the medium trot) and cheered when we nailed it (simple change). We have worked as hard as we possibly can. We're doing something difficult. I am totally okay with whatever score we get on Sunday.
Just like I told my kids, they get to come back next year and try it again. We don't have to wait until next year. We can try again next month and the month after that.
We'll get over that bar eventually!
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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%: