From Endurance to Dressage
What's In a Name
I started this space back in February of 2011, nearly twelve years ago. I know there is at least one person out there who remembers my very first post, but I don't know if she reads anymore. We're still friends, and since those early days, I've made a lot of new friends because of this space.
Back then, my web address was the same, but the blog was simply called Karen's Dressage Blog. I couldn't think of an actual title, and it didn't matter anyway as I never in a million years thought I'd still be writing more than a decade later. Back then, I posted seven days a week. I am not sure when I switched to a Monday through Friday format, but it was probably seven or eight years ago.
After several years, I realized Karen's Dressage Blog was more of a place holder than a title, so I sat down to choose a name that embodied my experiences with horses in general and dressage in particular. Speedy's name has always been a bit of a tongue in cheek name - his dam was named G Im Fast and her sire was named Fast Ptrack. Speedy was my new endurance horse, so the name Speedy G stuck, especially since he wasn't very fast. At all.
Nothing about my dressage journey has been speedy. It took me ten years to earn a USDF Bronze Medal, and Izzy and I have been at this for eight years, and we still don't have scores that would qualify us for anything. While the name is appropriate to our pace of learning, the inevitable meaning of "not-so-Speedy" was not lost on me. I knew that eventually, this space would not include Speedy. Fortunately, Speedy's transition from star-of-the show to supporting character has been slow and gradual. He hasn't died in some freak accident or acute illness. He's still with me even though we don't do much together anymore.
Over the weekend, I pulled him out for a grooming session. I conditioned his mane, tail, and forelock before gently combing them all out. I gave his coat a quick curry - he was actually pretty clean, and then brushed his hair smooth. The entire time he nudged my hands and pockets looking for treats; I will forever be his human Pez dispenser. The next day, I turned him out to graze in the alley in front of his paddock, but when I came back an hour or so later, he had put himself away. If he had had thumbs, he would have closed the gate and clipped the chain on.
He's not nearly so excitable these days, but he does have his moments. On Sunday, I laughed particularly hard at his crotchety old man expression as he followed me while I carried his lunch bucket. He plodded along behind me with his ears flat back as if to warn anyone watching that that bucket was his and his girl had better hurry the hell up.
So here we are. My journey has not picked up its pace, and Speedy doesn't make nearly as many appearances here as he used to. I think the name will be relevant for as many years as I continue to write and post.
Not-So-Speedy Dressage remains true on many levels.
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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%: