From Endurance to Dressage
With Speedy on the disabled list, the what ifs start running amok. And once those things escape their cages, corralling them can be a serious endeavor. It starts with what if this is worse than it looks? That leads to what if it takes forever to heal? And then of course that becomes what if it doesn't heal? And naturally, everyone's favorite, what if he dies? always makes its appearance. Right now, I am wrestling with what if that was our last show season? Jerk.
A few posts ago I mentioned something about having a lot invested in Speedy. I wasn't talking about money. I have no idea what he's "worth" - if anything. No, what I meant was he and I have spent well over a decade fostering a relationship that meets both our needs. He knows that he can trust me with his life, and on my side of the equation, I know that this horse will show up and do his best for me every single time. That's not an easy thing to find. Or to let go of.
A week or so ago my California Dressage Society (CDS) plate arrived. When I opened it, I took a moment to savor it, but then I left it on my desk, mostly forgotten with all the drama surrounding Speedy's multiple leg injuries. Over the weekend, I had time to study it and was reminded of what a topsy turvy season we had in 2018.
I started the season feeling woefully ill prepared for Second Level. I was coping with severe migraines, Speedy didn't have a reliable simple change, and my sitting trot was anything but sitting. Even so, I entered show after show, and we pushed through it. By the season's end, we had earned our USDF Second Level Rider Performance Award, we were Second Level Champions within my CDS Chapter, and we took home a blue neck ribbon for the CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition in the Second Level Elite division.
As I attached the newest plate to my plaque, I paused to look over the six seasons already represented. Not one single one of those seasons was easy. In fact, almost every one of them came after some sort of injury and layup. Year after year I've had to beat down the what if this is our last season? bully. And each year, Speedy has emerged better than the year before.
If Speedy is a bit accident prone, he's also shown himself to be a great rebounder. The dude loves having a job and is always ready to come back fighting. We're definitely on the bench for now, but we'll be back in the game soon. Speedy might not know we're aiming for a Third Level plate, but I do. And whatever I set out to achieve, Speedy is always right there with me, ready and willing.
Here's to that next plate!
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%: