From Endurance to Dressage
Trail Buddy (not) Needed
You might remember that last summer was all about getting Izzy off the property to be ridden. Without any nearby riding facilities or schooling shows, I opted to just hit the trail with my best friend and one of her tried and true geldings. We spent the summer trailering to different trail heads so that Izzy got used to unloading somewhere different, being ridden, and then standing tied to the trailer.
This summer, I've been able to repay the favor. In February, best friend bought a lovely mustang gelding; he's five. He was rounded up from the desert and broke to ride during one of those Mustang Makeover Challenges. He was sold as a riding horse, but something happened to the owner who wasn't able to keep him. He was then sent to a trainer who sells horses on consignment.
My best friend bought him and then spent the spring getting to know him and working on his ground manners. He wasn't obnoxious, just a little shy and spooky. Once she earned Rio's trust and respect, she introduced him to the trail by taking him for hand walks around the neighborhood. She also rode him in her pasture and in the neighbor's round pen. A few weeks ago she gave me a call and said they were ready to ride off the property.
I rode over to her place, it's just a ten minute ride, so that Speedy could join Rio and be a trail buddy. I don't think Rio needed the company. That little mustang marched right out into the world with a purpose. There were a few times that he looked around with some caution, but it was obvious that his mission in life is to take care of himself and his rider without exerting any extra energy. Spooking wastes calories.
We headed out on my regular neighborhood loop which mostly consists of a single paved lane through ranch properties. At the far end though, we trekked through my new barn's dirt roads and went down to the river and bushwacked it back onto the road. It's a fun section as you get to wind through trees and feel like you're in the back country.
When we got down to the river, best friend gave Rio the rein and let him nibble at the grasses growing along the water's edge. He gave the river a long look and then marched right in. No spooking, no snorting, no big deal.
The next time we rode, Rio was even more confident than the week before. He happily marched into the lead and confidently studied his surroundings. Nothing bothered him or gave him reason to be cautious. He thoroughly enjoyed himself.
I have to say that I was a bit envious. He is clearly a sensible guy that is going to take care of his rider with confidence. Best friend definitely picked a good one who is going to be a fantastic trail companion for her. I hope she "needs" me and Speedy again soon.
Maybe Rio can teach Izzy a few things about confidence!
8/3/2016 05:20:49 pm
Yeah ... he was braver than either of us thought he would be. :0)
8/3/2016 05:21:30 pm
The mustangs are fairly common here in CA, but that shouldn't be a surprise. :0)
8/4/2016 06:08:22 am
He really is! He has very dark dapples that we hope he'll keep.
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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)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: