From Endurance to Dressage
Tuesday was spa day for the truck. The Truck, as I call it, (although I don't know why since my car is My Car and Hubby's truck is His Truck, but somehow my truck became known as THE truck) needed it's parts looked at. The registration is always due in June and since it is getting older, the state of California requires biennial smog certification. This was the every other year. And since I had to unhook the trailer to drive it to the smog shop, I figured I'd make a day of it and do all of the other stuff as well: oil change, tire rotation, windshield wiper replacement, fuel, and just because it was so dirty from sitting around at the barn, an all over wash.
That all sounded like a great plan on Tuesday morning, but by Tuesday afternoon I was staring at a ridiculous pile of receipts. All of this for a vehicle I use only two or three times a month? Sheesh!
And since the weather was questionable on Tuesday, high winds, I passed on riding my boys and instead did lots of turn out and barn chores. One of those chores included introducing Sydney to the Hi-Tie. Some horses take to the Hi-Tie instantly while others fret about it. Montoya tolerated anything so attaching her to the end of the lead of the Hi-Tie was the same as tying her to her stall - whatever (said with an equine eye roll). Speedy was rather pissed about the Hi-Tie initially and demonstrated his displeasure with lots of rearing, kicking out, and pawing. That lasted all of about 12 minutes. Once he realized that the Hi-Tie gave him enormous amounts of room, he warmed up to it and now LOVES the thing.
I wasn't sure what Sydney's response would be. He is super quiet in the cross-ties, and when I need to tie him to the fence, he handles it quite well. He has pulled back a time or two, but the instant he hits the end of the line, he knows to come forward immediately to release the pressure. I was pretty confident the Hi-Tie would be a no-brainer.
I always clip a Blocker Tie Ring to the end of the Hi-Tie so that if a horse does pull pack, the rope can slip through the tie ring as the arm of the Hi-Tie bends to absorb the pressure. It's a pretty forgiving system and definitely designed with a horse's safety in mind. Here's a photo of the Blocker Tie Ring (Click photo for larger view):
The wind was coming in random gusts, but it would had have been blowing if he'd been in his stall too. I turned Speedy G out who chose that particular morning to gallop madly about in the arena whinnying his little dished head off. I didn't really set Sydney up for the best possible introduction to the whole thing, but when he finally does start going to shows, there won't be perfectly quiet places for tying. All in all, I was quite pleased with Sydney's response. He gave a few half-hearted bucks and paced and pawed a bit, but he never really challenged the Hi-Tie. In fact, he quickly figured out how to untangle himself when he wrapped the lead rope over his head, and he learned that standing means lots and lots of hay.
I left him tied for about 20 minutes, but I stayed within about a 100 feet at all times. I puttered around shuffling buckets, cleaning the inside of the trailer, and filling a hay bag for the weekend's show all the while stopping to pat him when he was being relaxed. I wouldn't say he ever relaxed, but once he looked as though he'd been standing still for a few minutes, I unhooked him and turned him out into the arena. I plan to let him spend time on the Hi-Tie several times a week over the summer.
Now if we can just get our trot show worthy ...
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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)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: