From Endurance to Dressage
My life involves three things; just three. I am a pretty simple person. When any one of those three things is out of whack, I feel stressed. If two of them are wobbling, I am in full depression mode. Occasionally, all three things go well and I am deliriously happy.
First of course is my married life. If my husband and I aren't seeing eye to eye, ain't nobody happy. That area of my life is rocking along quite happily.
A second area of my life that that can cause me a boatload of stress is work. I don't talk about my profession a whole lot here because my employer would rather I not. Teaching is much harder than it looks, and if most people knew what goes on behind the scenes, they'd cut us a lot more slack than they do.
A week or two ago, a situation arose in my classroom that caused me to have a full on, burst out bawling, melt down. While it took about two months for that issue to be resolved, it is now thankfully taken care of and my 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. life is also sailing along quite pleasantly.
Then there is my barn life. This area is the most volatile and the least likely to run smoothly. Having two horses that can break or be naughty is one reason for the more frequent downward blips. If one pony is going along happily, the other surely will not be.
Right now, Speedy is still recovering from a self-induced injury which is not causing me acute angst, but it's still a tiny pebble in my shoe of happiness. Izzy is the one causing me the heart ache. While I have since abandoned the notion that he might give me a good ride each day (he won't, I know), I am still hopeful that he'll show me some kind of improvement that I can actually see.
Last night's ride was a real loser. I tried every tool in my kit to get something of a half halt from him so that I could pat his neck and hop off. Nope. I finally resorted to planting both hands on my knees as we careened around on some sort of round shape that was definitely not a 20-meter circle. My thinking was to let him fight himself instead of fighting with me. It didn't work.
With no other tricks to try, I finally went back to counter flexion with a strong outside leg. With that combination of aids, he'll turn, lift his front end, and let go of the bit. It's not fun or easy though, and I hope Chemaine can give me something else this weekend.
So that's my trinity: married life, work life, and barn life. When all three are aligned, I float on air. Right now, my happiness balloon is bouncing along on the ground. Does anyone know where a helium tank might be found? I need a quick shot. Or tequila - same difference.
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%