From Endurance to Dressage
I've had trainers ride both of my horses, but it's never been for more than 15 or 20 minutes. In the past, I've asked the trainer to hop on to show me what I couldn't do, or to get a better sense of what I was feeling. When Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer of Symphony Dressage Stables, was here for a clinic this Sunday, she rode Izzy for the entire lesson. I was perfectly happy to stand and watch.
While I had hopped up on Izzy for some light walk and trot on Saturday, he hadn't been ridden for an entire month before that. Not by choice, of course, I had just been too sick to ride.
It was frustrating to watch Chemaine's ride. Not that she was doing anything horrible to him or that I wanted to ride him through the shenanigans myself. It was just that when I last rode him, he had made so much progress. It was like he was finally getting it, so to see him back to fighting the work was a bit discouraging.
Obviously, a month off was simply more than his brain could deal with. To his credit though, he didn't do anything that was actually violent: he didn't rear or buck or bolt out of control. Although that may have been more a testament to Chemaine's riding ability than the attitude of the big brown horse. But I don't think so.
When she was finished, Chemaine explained that what she had been working on was getting him off her inside leg. She didn't feel that he was fearful or not understanding. He was just being a turd. This horse wants to be the boss, and when he can't, he can argue about it All. Day. Long.
As the next rider came into the ring, I joked that Izzy needed to find out just who was in charge here. He "knew" he was finished and had started asking pissy that she was still on him. I told Chemaine that she was welcome to sit on him all day. She laughed and said that it would keep her warm to stay on him for a while longer. And so she did. Through that lesson and partway through the one after that.
By the time Chemaine finally handed me his reins, he was about as pissed as he could be. He was dripping with sweat and gnashing at the bit. Even though it was in the 40s, I hosed off his neck and belly and turned him loose to roll.
He marched over to his breakfast, but his temper got the best of him. He tossed his head, gave a small squeal, and then proceeded to act like a total nut. He bucked and charged around his paddock letting the world know how poorly he had been treated. I was actually a bit concerned that he was going to temper tantrum his way into a colic.
Once he got it out of his system, he finally went to finish his breakfast. By the time I left, he was standing quietly in the sun and was happy to get his face rubbed. I don't know what he'll be like the next time I get on him, but I hope that Chemaine was able to work out the worst of his temper.
Good thing I like this horse.
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%: