From Endurance to Dressage
Again in honor of the Advent calendar, here are two things to tide you over until next week.
It seems as though a lot of horse girls keep their hair long. For many, it may be a style preference, but for me, it's because I don't have time to mess around with regular haircuts, daily styling, and frequent hair washing. I get my ends trimmed about every 3- 4 months, and I wash it once a week. Once you train your hair, it can easily go with a lot less washing if you aren't getting it really sweaty. If you work out a lot, you probably need to wash it more frequently. I obviously don't work out a lot. The proof is here ↙️.
My hair is really long. It's so long that it nearly touches the waistband of whatever I am wearing. It's both a blessing and a curse: I don't have to do much with it, but it gets everywhere. I can't even pick out a horse's hooves without my hair falling in my eyes and the hoof. All of which means that I wear my hair in a pony tail more than I don't. I have more barrettes, jaw clips, and pony tail holders than I do socks, and I am always looking for cuter ways to wear a pony tail.
Last month, I stumbled on PONY-O, and I now own three of those little dudettes. For a girl who likes to live in pony tails, these things are AWESOME, and they actually work as described. They are a ring of flat copper covered in a rubberized coating. You push your hair through, flatten the ring, and then bend each end under. I tend to wear low pony tails because the weight of my hair pulls my pony tails down into an unflattering sag. With these little gems, I can wear a high pony tail, and it stays high all day long without pulling.
The black and brown ones (above) are the M-L size, but my hair is just thick enough that it fills up so much of the loop that there isn't enough left to bend the ends under. When I wear those, I pull up half my hair and leave the rest down which looks great with a PONY-O because you can angle the loop to sit up instead of sagging on the back of your head. I just ordered and received the XL - the black Geoflower print on the right, and that one holds all of my hair. Shipping is slow, 1 - 2 weeks, but I wasn't in a hurry. If you have enough hair to put it in a pony tail, I highly recommend these bad boys.
Yesterday, I called up my friend Marci, the endurance rider, and made a riding date with her during my winter break, which begins today. I told her that Izzy needs to get tired. Now, for an endurance rider, that needs a bit of context. There's 100 mile tired, 50 mile tired, and work-some-sassiness-off tired. Izzy and I are in the third category. Marci is gearing up for a 50-miler in the middle of January, so she was eager to have a riding partner for her last conditioning ride before her race.
I told Marci that Izzy could easily do 10 - 15 miles at a near endurance pace. It's me that might be the weak link in the group. I just don't have the same gear that I used to have. Dressage saddles are not quite as comfortable as a good endurance saddle, but I'll make it work. The first day that we could both get our schedules to line up is two weeks from today, so my fingers are crossed that the weather forecast holds true. We're slated for some rain in the next week, but the following week looks good. Marci and I completed many, many endurance rides together over nearly two decades, so it will be fun to hit the trail with her and Gem.
Fifteen miles of brisk trail work gets a lot more done than 20-meter circles!
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%: