From Endurance to Dressage
While we still earned a blue ribbon, and in a larger class no less, this test didn't ride as well as the first one. Part of that is due to my riding ability. I am doing the best I can, but this test is just hard. Most of why we weren't as sparkly though was because it was freakin hot. Like gasping for breath and thinking about scratching hot. Even the judge was starting to wilt.
Halfway through the first test, I truly thought I would need to scratch Test 3; I was having trouble focusing. I am not a quitter though, and I really hate wasting money. Instead, I took Speedy down to the trailer where we both got a good drink. He looked better than I felt, so I figured we'd just crank it out and see what we got.
I didn't even take him to the warm up for our second test; it was just too hot, and I worried I'd have no horse left. Instead, we did some quick transitions within the trot as we waited for the bell. As soon as I turned down centerline, I knew it was going to be a lackluster performance. Speedy was behind my leg and curling. I was so hot myself that I just urged him forward as much as I could.
I know this judge wasn't giving any points away, but I do think his scores took the heat into account. When we cantered at C, Speedy got a wee bit sassy and even considered throwing in a buck. I think he realized it was just too danged hot for any shenanigans and decided cantering was just easier. The judge gifted us a 6.5 and even called it "prompt."
I really hate this test and look forward to moving on to Second Level just to not have to ride this thing anymore. Even though it was hot, our scores improved for the canter work which comes during the second half of the test. I can assure you it wasn't because I got a second wind.
The first part is just hard with the leg yield to X and then back to the rail. Then there is the stretchy trot and the 10-meter trot circles. It's a lot of bending and lateral work for the first part of a test. All of the canter work at the end flows much better.
Since this is the test that I'll be riding for RAAC in two weeks, I need to try and eke out a few more points. Our canter work is okay, but if I can get him a bit more balanced and pushing from behind, we might get some 7.0s. It's the leg yields and 10-meter trot circles that I need to focus on this week.
I think we can also work on that halt!
There was video by the way, but my videographer made a small error. You can probably see it better on a mobile device!
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%: