From Endurance to Dressage
I've finally finished digging through the video clips from last weekend's lesson with Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables. You've already seen the lovely screen shots that I was able to pick out, now you get to see the footage, raw and uncut!
While watching me bumble along is no doubt quite entertaining, the best part of the videos is listening to Chemaine's feedback; she is one heck of a trainer. If you've been following Izzy's journey, you already know that it was just one month ago that after a huge struggle we finally got a right lead canter. Just a few short weeks later, Izzy can now canter on the right lead and hold it!
For most of the videos, we're working to the left. Izzy is much stiffer to the left and doesn't want to stretch the right side of his body to take the right rein. Most of our work during this lesson was about keeping him between my aids and while maybe not on the outside rein yet, you can see that he's getting there.
Chemaine Says ...
"It's the beginning of asking him to be through... Bring him back, and when he's focused, add more energy."
"Stroke his ego ... You need to make him feel really successful."
"Don't give up the right rein... Let him learn to let it go... This is where it is, Izzy, and I'm not going to pull it back farther than that... But he has to figure out to give to it."
"Give him the opportunity to think it's a good idea ... Keep inviting him to stretch a little more."
Get the nice little stretch down before the canter... Steady on that right rein."
Once he gets the message, he gets the message... You've got to keep on keeping on!"
Our next lesson is scheduled for the end of April. I cannot wait to go back to show Chemaine what he's already learned just this week. When I rode on Thursday afternoon, he picked up a left lead canter correctly without blasting through my aids. And while it was a bit stuttery, he also got the right lead on the very first try!
Chemaine has tried to convince me all along that when he finally "gets it," he's going to be amazing. I am fast becoming a believer!
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%: