From Endurance to Dressage
What I am Reading
My stepmom recently sent me a copy of Buck Brannaman's book, The Faraway Horses. We had already seen the documentary, Buck, which I found fascinating, so I knew I would enjoy the book. I wasn't disappointed. Even if you're not a fan of the natural horsemanship way of working with horses, there's a lot to this book.
Sydney is not an easy horse to work with so any insight into how he thinks is useful. Mr. Brannaman advocates kindness at all times and stresses that the problems we have with horses are man-made. I think he's right. When we recognize that our horses aren't being difficult in order to frustrate us, it's easier to start looking for a different cause.
After finishing Buck's book, I asked RM if she had read it. Of course she had, she's a prolific reader! She offered to lend me several other similar books since I had enjoyed The Faraway Horses so much. Considering the Horse was written by Mark Rashid. In many ways it's similar to Brannaman's memoir in that it too is not an instruction manual. Instead, he teaches through his stories. He begins with his first experiences with horses and shares how he managed to solve training problems. He discusses what went wrong in the training and shares the solutions he found. Throughout his stories, he shares his philosophy that most training problems can be solved by simply looking at them from the horse's point of view.
This was a helpful book because he too feels that the problems we have with our horses stem from human error. Thinking about Sydney's resistance to contact from his point of view makes more sense than just thinking Sydney's being stubborn. Discovering why he feels the need to be resistant will help solve the problem much more quickly.
Believe: A Horseman's Journey is the follow up to Buck Brannaman's first book. This is the second book RM lent me. I am a little over halfway. The premise of the book how Buck's method of working with horses works with people, too. Through their interactions with Buck, the horses benefitted, but so did the owners. Many of the problems they had with their horses actually came from issues in their own lives (fear, lack of self-confidence, anger, etc). I can see that being very true.
I'll be sure to let you know how I feel about the book at the end.
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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%: