From Endurance to Dressage
It's rare that I don't saddle up anyway. For the most part, I simply power through those day that I just don't feel like it. There is another reason that I'll skip my ride though. Every now and again, and it's rare, but sometimes, the horses don't feel like it either. Speedy loves to work, but occasionally he'll try to talk me out of a ride just because he's feeling lazy, particularly if it's hot. Izzy is ALWAYS ready to play. He's not as smart as Speedy is, so I don't think it has occurred to him that he might have a say in his work day.
So yesterday, when I walked down his fence line with a cookie in hand, and he didn't come over to take it right away, I worried that something might be amiss. I wiggled my fingers at him as he stood along the fence with Speedy. He looked at me, contemplated whether the cookie was worth the short hike, and finally acquiesced to come and take it from me.
I applied fly spray and started to curry his coat. Normally, he nips and licks me, wanting to play. Not yesterday. He stood quietly which is what he's supposed to do, but I could just tell that he wasn't in the mood. After brushing his coat and giving him a good once over, I unclipped his lead rope and sent him out into the yard. Sometimes, the horses just have off days too.
As Izzy wandered out on the lawn, I decided that Speedy was due for a thorough grooming. He was delighted to have me all to himself. He hasn't been getting to spend as much time with me since his arthritis diagnosis, so Izzy's meh day turned out to be Speedy's gain. As I worked conditioner through his mane and tail, I kept my eye on the big brown horse. He had sidled up to Ali, the ranch owner's Fox Trotter, and was making googly eyes at her. She of course flipped him the bird as she peed in his face. I was happy to see him behaving normally.
I was looking forward to a ride yesterday since it was so much cooler. On so many days this past few weeks we could smell the smoke and see ash. Yesterday though, the smoke had risen so high that it simply lowered the temperature without being low enough to make breathing difficult. I don't know if Izzy was just tired or if the smoke and bad air had just finally caught up with him, but I listened. He doesn't tell me no very often, so if he needed a day off, I was more than happy to give it to him.
Saddle up anyway; unless your horse tells you otherwise.
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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%: