From Endurance to Dressage
If we're friends on Facebook, you'll have already seen photos of my recent field trip out to CC's ranch to watch my friend Lisa work her mare Ruby. Lisa and Ruby joined us for a trail ride last month. CC is Izzy's chiropractor, and as we found out on that trail ride, Lisa trains with CC. The horse world is very small.
CC's ranch is smack dab in the middle of the town of Caliente, a long forgotten town along the track of the Union Pacific Railroad. Caliente's history is pretty interesting as it sprang up with the arrival of the railroad in 1875. CC generously spent time explaining the loop pictured above. The Tehachapi Loop, considered an engineering feat when it was begun in 1874, is just a few miles to the east. People from all over the world come to visit these few miles of the Union Pacific Railroad because of its unique construction, and there it sits in CC's backyard. I couldn't quit watching the trains circle around. It was utterly mesmerizing.
CC and his family have been working cattle in the Caliente region for more than a generation. His daughter now has her own herd that she manages.
While CC still shows his own and client horses, he's really all about running the ranch and doing it on well bred horses. Later in the morning he rode a two year old that was more broke than any of my horses.
Watching everyone working gave me a sense of what life must have been like before cell phones, social media, and the internet. These people still have a deep connection with the land, something urban dwellers could use more of.
I thoroughly enjoyed my morning spent in Caliente. Of course, it's not hard to talk me into doing something if horses are involved. But truthfully, I think all of us need to step outside of our comfort zones to see how other people live and work. It is no surprise that much of what these riders do is very similar to what we do in dressage. They want supple, forward thinking horses. Horses that can rock back on their haunches with riders giving aids so subtle they aren't easy to see. Their clothes and tack are very different, but horses are horses. They all walk, trot, and canter no matter what their saddles look like.
I definitely want to go back, but next time, I am going to ask if I can give it a try!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%