From Endurance to Dressage
I hate this time of year. Most equestrians probably do. And really, I have it better than most, so I feel bad even complaining about it. It's not the holiday part that I dislike, it's the short daylight hours. Man, it's killing me right now.
The Monday after Thanksgiving, my district brought all teachers back to work at their school sites. I wasn't happy about it. I'll admit, I had really started to enjoy working from home. Not having to rush out of the house in the dark was really nice. I also saved so much time by not having to get dressed, pack a lunch, pack my barn gear, and drive 30 minutes each way. All of that allowed me about two hours more to get my job done. Like most salaried employees, there is never a "done," so those extra two hours helped me feel a lot less frazzled. My frazzled meter is really high right now.
My pre-COVID contracted hours used to be 7:20 a.m to 2:50 p.m. I never followed that schedule though as the job simply can't be done in that time frame. I normally get to work around 6:00 a.m. and work through lunch. An early arrival allows me to get most things done which means I can leave on time and be at the barn by about 3:15.
With our students still working from home, my hours have been changed to 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. While I should still get to work by 6:00 a.m., I just can't force myself to do it. Instead, I roll in around 7:15, and try to leave a few minutes early. If traffic is light, and if I hurry, I can have Izzy saddled by 4:00 p.m.
We don't have arena lights which means riding much more than 30 minutes puts me really close to finishing up in the dark. After I ride, I clean and fill water troughs and put both boys' buckets together. Once everything is cleaned up and put away, it's after 5:00 p.m. and dark. By the time I get home, shower, and get dinner going, I am ready for bed.
We have one more week before our two-week Christmas break. Like I said, I have it better than most. After that, I just have to make it through mid-January. By February, the sun won't set until 5:30 which gives me a lot more time.
First World problems or just people-who-like-the-outdoors problems?
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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%: