From Endurance to Dressage
That is the question ...
We're finally getting some winter-like weather here in the southern part of the central valley of California. We have had the mildest fall ever. I am still riding in long sleeve tops with no jacket!
Thursday's high was supposed to be 54℉ with a low of 41℉. Friday is supposed to be cooler with a high of 52℉ and a low of 37℉. We're also having a little rain and a lot of humidity. For us, this is winter; it's doesn't get too much colder than this.
I am not a fan of blanketing. Instead, I keep my ponies with a full winter coat. I tend to go with what nature intended as often as possible. It's not that I think there is anything wrong with blanketing, I just don't. Well, not very often that is. I have more blankets than I can count, most of which are from my endurance years. I always blanket away from home since it's almost always colder elsewhere, but our barn is very snug, our winters very mild, and horses have a built in apparatus for warming themselves.
A few years ago, Montoya got hung up in her blanket and injured herself enough that she was out of competition for almost a year. She ultimately healed, but it reinforced my no need to blanket creed.
Speedy has been blanketed twice this season after getting pretty sweaty during his Monday night lessons. I don't like to put him away wet and naked. If he's damp, he gets blanketed until the next morning.
On Thursday night, I finally caved and tossed blankets on both my boys. I told our barn owner to leave them on during the day since it's not going to be any warmer. This way she won't have to put them back on tonight. We're going to Hubby's work party so I can't get to the barn to blanket myself.
Click photos to enlarge, especially since they're so good!
I think they'll be happier, but believe it or not, I won't be. I'll worry all day. Are they too warm? Are they tangled up? Is someone feeling claustrophobic? This is all silly as both boys have worn blankets many times before. They probably like the damn things and wonder why I deprive them all winter. Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Next week's weather is supposed to be just like yesterday's, only slightly cooler.
To blanket or not ...
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%