From Endurance to Dressage
Finally, Speedy and I are back at it. We showed in March, and look at us, a second show in a season! If the show gods are with us, we hope to do the three remaining Tehachapi shows and the CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition in August. Our qualifying scores for RAAC aren't great, but at least we qualified.
I was really happy with how this test rode, but the judge was slightly less impressed. We scored 60.630%, the lowest I've scored on this test. I don't think the judge was unfair at all. Instead, I think I've fixed a few things, but new evasions have cropped up.
Here's the test.
We scored sevens for our first halt, our 15-meter canter circle on the right lead, and for picking up the right lead at F. The rest of the scores ranged from a 4.0 for breaking into a trot from medium to free walk (how does THAT happen?) to a slew of 6.0s, 6.5s and one 5.5 for developing the working canter.
What I liked about the test was that Speedy was actually more forward than he has been in the past and less against my hand. I've been working on my position which comes across in the video as awkward because I am trying to fix a few things. It's obviously still a work in progress.
The theme for the judge's remarks was that he was "too curled." She said it in about as many ways as you can: needs more nose out, keep nose out, curling in front, 2 curled, little 2 deep, 2 downhill, getting 2 curled, and nose going behind vertical often. This is a not a new problem, but is a big problem if you're trying to move on to Second Level work.
We didn't get a great score, and frankly, we got a bit of a butt kicking. I don't feel too bad about it though as I know the second place rider has ridden to Fourth Level meaning she's got a lot more experience on me. And obviously the first place rider knows her stuff.
No matter what the score says, we had a great day. Speedy was his usual awesome self doing everything that I asked of him. He was a perfect gentleman even when he had reason not to be. When I stopped at the judge's booth to give her my number, the wind caught a test sheet sending it sailing through the air. The judge slammed it back to the counter before it could hit Speedy in the face, but she was horrified at what might have happened, and even expressed her concern. I laughed it off as Speedy never even flinched.
Since we rode near the end of the day, most of the horses had left while we did our first test. By the time we got back to the trailer. Speedy was nearly alone. He could have cared less. He nibbled his hay, took a long drink, and then asked best friend for a walk.
During his little walk break, Speedy woke up and instead of being tired, got a surge of energy. I was very pleased to see it since we still had another test to ride, and the weather was getting warmer. First Level test 3 tomorrow!
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%