From Endurance to Dressage
Friday was about the warm up. Saturday was dedicated to exercises the rider can do to fix problems. Chemaine had three exercises lined up: 10-meter circles within the 20-meter circle, shoulder in across the diagonal, and haunches in for half pass.
Chemaine started with the big percheron. The exercise she had them doing can be done at all three gaits or a combination. Start out on a 20-meter circle at any gait. At each quarter of the circle do a 10-meter circle inside of the 20-meter circle. This exercise establishes bend and can help get the horse on the outside rein. If done at the canter, it really helps the horse to sit and collect.
The second exercise that Chemaine showed was shoulder in across the diagonal. I'll admit I wasn't necessarily listening as well as I should have been, but I am pretty sure the purpose was to help get a better outside rein connection. At the corner, Chemaine had Stella get a really good bend with a release on the short side, and then get a really good bend at the next corner in preparation for the shoulder in across the diagonal. I may have some of that wrong, but she can chime in to correct me.
I already shared the haunches in exercise, but here's a bit more. For this exercise, Chemaine had me pick up a canter down the long side where I gradually collected the canter for the turn down centerline. As I got Speedy more and more collected, Chemaine then had me turn up the quarter line and then again down the long side.
When Chemaine thought we were ready, she had me turn at the quarter line, look to E (or whatever letter is there - we had two borrowed letters only) and then half pass to the rail. To ensure the correct bend, she had me point speedy directly at the letter while I looked through his ears. As we approached the letters, my shoulders were to become parallel with the short side.
I would never have attempted a canter half pass on my own, but with this technique, it sets you up for success. And really it's only a few strides because you're starting from the quarterline. I am not sure how ready we are to use this exercise regularly, but it certainly helped Speedy get on his hind end which is something we desperately need as we make the move to Second Level.
Tomorrow - day 3 of Western State Horse Expo!
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%: