From Endurance to Dressage
Things to Think About
First, I would like to thank all of you for being so kind and supportive in your comments about my headshaking post. That inspired me to write today's post, but forgive me if it takes a while to get to the main point.
As I was pondering how best to share that information (about headshaking), I was able to more succinctly define why I write this blog - to myself anyway. On the surface, I write about dressage, equine health, and endurance riding, but really, I have an even narrower focus than that. I realized that really, I write about lessons learned in life. They just happen to be lessons learned while riding, caring for my horses, or cranking out a hundred miles in a single day.
Writing this blog has forced me to become a better human being. Not that I was a lousy example of humanity before, but examining my life experiences with such a powerful magnifying glass has forced me to evaluate my behavior and life choices in a way that I might not have bothered to do before.
Even without this blog I have a strong sense of what is right and wrong (thank, mom!). My blog gives me a place to think about how I respond to life's questions, and I think I am pretty honest about it. Did I quit, try hard enough, act charitably, show grace, demonstrate humility, lose my temper, or treat someone discourteously?
In nearly every blog post, I realize that I almost always share a lesson learned. As I thumbed back through past blog posts, it seems that I am most often challenged to show humility, grace, and patience. The Divine has his work cut out with me, no doubt about it!
So when it comes time for me to share something, I wait to talk about it until I am clear about what I learned. Sometimes it's easy - when I review a product, it's usually a simple lesson about need versus want. Did I need that, or was I trying to put on a bandaid on something that hurts? Did I find a product that makes life easier, was I sharing to be helpful, or did I practice making good financial decisions?
Other times, it can be painful to share. My first rides with Christian Schacht come to mind. Telling the whole world that I felt humiliated was a hard thing to do. Speaking about humility, sharing my experiences from the California Dressage Society's Championship show was also difficult. Going there to compete, knowing that I was going to finish near the bottom, challenged me to show some grace and even more humility.
So. What does all of this have to do with headshaking? I guess I just wanted to tell you that you won't hear much about that issue until I've learned the lesson. I don't know what that lesson is yet, but it's starting to reveal itself.
I do want to write about Izzy though, but the focus will not be how symptomatic he is or isn't. Like last night, we had an awesome ride. He's really starting to listen to my seat and other aids, and he is just fun to ride. He floats around the arena with the most elastic of strides, and he makes me feel so safe. Even when he does baby horse stuff, I never feel any fear while riding him. I am so glad that we found each other!
Have a great weekend. I plan to learn a few things and maybe even have some fun. How about you?
I really enjoy your perspective and the way you write this blog. You want the best for your horses but you don't analyze them to death and I feel like that comes out in your "lessons" in each post. You keep moving forward because you have perspective. You glean what is useful and move on. We can all learn from that!
5/1/2015 12:49:44 pm
Thank you for that, Rebecca. I certainly try to maintain perspective, anyway. I will say that age makes that easier to do. ;0)
5/1/2015 12:44:39 pm
I've been too busy to reply to all of the many comments I've received lately, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you, Austen. Your comment brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine a nicer compliment than the one you just offered. I sincerely hope that I live my real life like I do on the internet. It is certainly my intention. Thank you.
5/1/2015 01:48:27 am
This is what I love about blogging. I've actually had moments where I want to get angry and think "how would I explain this?" and realize that there are more productive ways to address a certain situation. It's not that I'm afraid of internet censure (because I can obviously post/withhold anything I want), but because it's made me be more reflective about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
I completely relate. There are times I can't finish a post because I realize I don't have positive ending - a conclusion to an issue, or an approach to try - something constructive. I never thought about it as life lessons before but its true. How we deal with horses is how we deal with life. Leaving things floating out there without a solution or plan is hard.
Thank you for this blog. I try to think about my posts before I write them- I thought about it as needing a point but your blog made me realize that it is about life lessons. I am looking forward to hearing more about your rides on Izzy!
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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%: