From Endurance to Dressage
We're headed to the beach for the weekend so you won't hear from me until Monday. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
No big AHAs happened this week, which is probably a good thing as I have had some pretty big puzzle pieces snapping into place recently, and I am still chewing them over. Even so, the last two lessons did give me lots to think about.
Sydney now has a pretty decent canter departure in both directions. He is consistent about the departures, and we both seem to understand the aids that he needs. What JL wanted us to work on this week, and for the foreseeable future, is the quality of the canter that follows the departure. Nothing mind blowing there, isn't that what dressage is all about?
The work to the left is now focused on two things:
And then .. we just canter. He needs to build some muscle for this shorter frame. I don't need to ask for anything else other than that he stay right there. This means a lot of work on my own position. My habit has been to let him pop me out of the tack as he falls onto the forehand and into the trot. No more. It is my job to SIT UP, open my shoulders and be consistent with my leg when he starts to falter.
The work to the right is focused in nearly the same way:
A few weeks ago, this loss of balance combined with my poor riding would have sent his brain spinning. Now that I have a better feel for what's going on and know what I need to do to support him, the drama has vanished. I gathered up my reins, had him crab sideways a few steps to straighten him out, and we picked up a quiet and balanced canter. No big deal.
Our homework is pretty simple: for him, wait for my aids; for me, sit up, open my chest, and be clear in my aids. I think we can handle it.
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%: