From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy's vacation, not mine. HIs time off was partially due to my busy work work week, but he also needed it. I gave Speedy all of last week off. After the show at Mission Pacific, I was pretty tired, and I knew Speedy needed at least a couple of days to just relax.
I also had to conduct parent/teacher conferences which meant I worked some pretty long days long week. On top of that, Speedy's toes were longer than I like them to be. My farrier usually comes every six weeks on the dot, but we didn't want to trim him two days before a show, so he got trimmed on Thursday. Then we decided to go to the cabin, and before I knew it, Speedy's three days off became seven. I don't think he minded.
Of course, by the time I was ready to ride on Sunday afternoon, it was a steamy 82℉. This isn't weird or freakishly high either. Our record for November 1st is actually 90℉. Still, it's pretty tough on horses who are sporting full winter coats to do a schooling ride in that kind of heat. I opted for a lazy hack around the neighborhood.
I followed my regular loop which included stopping by the apple tree for a few fallen nuggets of goodness. Rather than doing the medium loop, which means slicing off the back section, I opted for the full trail which takes about 40 minutes. When I got to the bushwhacking area, the spot that Izzy simply plowed through like it wasn't even there, Speedy gave it the hairy eyeball and planted his feet. I wasn't surprised.
He is definitely not a fan of weird things brushing against his legs and feet. I asked him several times to just go one step at a time, but he flat out refused saying he was going to either launch up and over the mess, or it was a no go.
I really didn't want him to plow through it, so I got off and cleared a path. The last time I tried to move the tree branches, the whole mess was too heavy and green for me to make much of a dent. But on Sunday, things had dried out considerably, so I was able to clear a nice wide path through the debris.
I have to give Speedy some serious credit. I made a lot of noise cracking and snapping those branches off, and Speedy never pulled back once. He would have even just two years ago. Instead, he stood back as far as the reins would let him and watched me warily. As I worked my way through the pile, we ended up on the other side, and Speedy gave a sigh of relief. He thought we were done. But no, that's not how I operate.
I led him through the newly created path several times watching for branches that needed to be broke back farther. Once the whole thing looked safe for even the greenest of green beans. I got back on and walked Speedy slowly through. No big deal ...
So that was it - our big return to under saddle work. I might not have worked on canter transitions or Speedy's go button, but the ride was productive. It's poured rain yesterday which meant another day off, but I am not worrying about it. I went and got a pedicure. We'll see what today brings.
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%: