From Endurance to Dressage
Three Is My Lucky Number
That means that Third Level Test 3 should be right up my alley. It might not be our strongest test yet, but it will be. I can feel it.
Our first test of the show went really well. We had a bunch of 7.0s and only one small blooper, a late change behind in the flying lead change. I was feeling pretty good about test 3.
Unfortunately, the show manger had scheduled a pretty long break between our two tests, just over an hour and a half. On a normal summer day, that probably wouldn't have affected us, but on that particular day, California's Central Valley experienced its hottest day of the summer. It was officially 110* in Bakersfield and in the low 90s in the Tehachapi Mountains (which feels hotter than it is). Our first test was at 12:16 and the second one was at 1:51.
I kept Speedy tacked up, but pulled his bridle and covered him with a fly sheet to shade him from the worst of the sun. For this show, I tie to the side of the trailer where there is usually a little shade. Speedy was cool to the touch and not sweating at all. in fact, he stood there dozing with his lip hanging, certain that we'd be going home at any moment.
I kept my second warm up super short, focusing on just perking him up. When we entered at A, I felt like things were going to be okay. In fact the first half of the test rode pretty decently. We earned a long list of 6.0s and 6.5s. Our trouble started with the first trot half pass (5.0). From that point on, the test gets a lot harder, and it showed in our scores.
At home, we can do a very balanced walk to canter transition. This season though, that movement is completely broken when we show. I know it's me because we have trouble with both the right and left lead. For test 3, we blew the left lead walk to canter at K needing several tries to get the correct lead - 4.0. This really stinks because it leads directly into the canter half pass left - 4.0.
While our canter half passes definitely need a ton of work, the flying changes are getting better. We earned a 7.0 for the first one but a 5.0 for the second one when it was very late. So late, in fact, that it took me until the rail to get Speedy to change behind. Booger. From there, we pulled in a couple of 6.0s for our medium and collected canter and a solid 6.5 for our collected trot at H.
Our final score for this Third Level Test 3 was a frustrating 59.250%, just 3 points shy of a 60%. With so many of this test's scores counting as double coefficients, it's easy to both lower or raise your score. If we can just get a slightly better canter half pass and ride both flying changes cleanly, we'll "easily" earn a 60+% for this test.
I can't swear being hot and tired was the cause, but I think it was. Even my husband thought the test looked labored. Speedy just wasn't really feeling it, and for us to earn a score in the 60s, he has to really want to. He didn't really want to. I can't blame him too much. This horse does an awful lot for me.
Here's the video.
Much to my complete surprise, our show season is not over! We have one more chance this weekend to earn those Bronze Medal scores. I'll share that story on Friday.
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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%: