From Endurance to Dressage
The second test of the day rode much like the first. We didn't make any glaring errors, like we had in the walk, which bumped our score to a slightly improved 61.320%. Again, not a brilliant score, but still satisfactory.
It's hard to be upset over a list of 6s and 6.5s. I could do without those three 5.5s however. Had they been at least 6s, my score would have been half of a percent higher, and every little bit helps.
To the good, I either upped my game, or the other two ladies had less brilliant rides than earlier as they beat me by a narrower margin than in the first test.
I am not sure any of the test was brilliantly ridden, but I thought we put in a steady ride. The first trot lengthening wasn't great, but you can see him trying.
The judge was a little critical of our 10-meter trot circles, we earned 6s for both directions, but I was pretty pleased with them.
I also felt like the canter loops were decent, but we earned a 5.5 for the first one. Speedy doesn't feel like he's struggling to hold the lead, but I think the judge wanted him to be more supple.
We only scored 6s for the canter lengthenings, but at least she didn't call them conservative. This had been one of the hardest First Level movements for us. In the past, Speedy couldn't/wouldn't come back to a working canter because he was too much on the forehand. So while they look rough on the video, they are improved over 2015 when we last attempted First Level. (He was intermittently lame for most of 2016).
Being "too curled" was still the theme of the day. For this test, the judge made the comment at least nine times. I really like her further remarks though as they are very constructive. She writes: find a half halt that brings the poll up. Nice mover, will be a lot nicer with less "curl" (struck out) or "overbridled."
I get what she's saying, and I hope that Chemaine can help us with that. I think that Speedy will probably always struggle with being too low in the poll if he wants to lift his back. I think the canter photo just above shows that he's trying to sit and lift his withers, but to do it, he needs to go deep in the bridle.
The trot lengthening though is a fake out on his part (that photo is above). I got a bit of a lengthened stride in front, but he's clearly not sitting and pushing from behind. So ... maybe he can sit better in the canter than he can in the trot?
In the end, I've got a horse with a big heart with lots to learn. In return, he gets a persistent and dedicated rider with just as much to learn. Good thing he doesn't keep score!
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2022 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read