From Endurance to Dressage
Tuesday at the Barn
Two horses and a full time job - so far so good. Today was Sydney's ride day and Speedy's day off. I took Sydney out of his stall and hosed him off with his fly sheet still on. I set the sheet aside and saddled him for a quick work out. How'd the ride go? Well ... let's just say that he was very unmotivated to trot. But really. Who would be at nearly 100 degrees? He fussed, I squeezed, he fussed more, I squeezed more. This went on for some time. Eventually he did trot, but it was very unpleasant. I continued to squeeze my legs and my shoulder blades. JL's voice rang in my ear, be patient. Wait for him to soften. It was difficult, but I waited. Aha! A moment of softness. Rats! Back to bracing. I squeezed my legs and my shoulder blades. Little. By. Little. He softened. I stopped squeezing. We circled. He remained soft. We halted. Pretty good! End of the ride.
Around the barn - still loving it! As I finished up my ride, I noticed that RM, the property owner, was unloading hay. When I realized that her assistant was actually the kindergartner from next door, I looked at Sydney, still under saddle, and knew I wasn't able to offer much help. Instead, I asked her if she needed some hay hooks. She quite proudly exclaimed, nope, just bought my first pair today! Without revealing too much about RM's personal life, she's relatively new to horse ownership and brand new to having horses at home. I love her can-do attitude!
I unsaddled Sydney and put his still-wet fly sheet back on. With our hair-dryer breeze blowing (current humidity is around 20% in the late afternoon), the damp sheet hopefully felt good. In any case, the flies seem to bother him more than the heat does.
Cubes were being dumped as I put Sydney away. This caused him to forget his manners which meant we had a mini-ettiquete lesson on not knocking me over as we enter the stall. The lesson worked and he remembered how we do things.
I had cleaned their stalls when I first arrived. My hope was that the temperature might miraculously drop 10 degrees during the time it takes to scoop ten piles of poop. Nope. I finished up my Tuesday barn trip by giving both boys their beet pulp and rice bran.
Life is good! Actually it's more than good. It's really good! I hope you got to visit your own pony on Tuesday. And if you did, I hope you hugged him and realized how much joy horses bring to our lives. And if it wasn't your pony you hugged, I hope there was a dog, cat, kid, or even your husband who was available for the happy squeeze!
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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%: