From Endurance to Dressage
To say I am hard on whips is an understatement. And to be more accurate, it should be said that I am careless with whips, a much truer characterization of my whip handling behavior.
As I get more adept at carrying and using a whip, I find that I am finally keeping it out from under my boys' feet. When I first started carrying a whip, I found it quite awkward and would simply chuck it when I got too frustrated with wielding it. "Chucking it" simply meant dropping it in the middle of the arena where it got cantered upon or at the very least, pelted with dirt.
My whip wielding skills have advanced over the past year or so, and I now find that I don't even realize it's in my hand. When I decide that it is no longer needed, I have begun dropping it alongside the mounting block so that a) it ceases getting trampled upon (although at this point, who cares) and b) I know where it is when I am done riding. Honestly, the search for my abandoned whip has used up more time than I can tell you.
I have been using my downtrodden whips without complaint for some time now. And really, as their condition is completely of my own doing, complaining about their state of being seems a bit whiney. I even use them (without embarrassment, I might add) in lessons with my trainer.
I could probably go on for quite some time using them ripped and torn and flopping on the end except that I am scheduled to ride in the California Dressage Society's Adult Amateur Clinic in a few weeks. I've participated in the clinic before. Each CDS chapter is allowed to choose one member to participate in its region's AA Clinic. CDS has three regions: North, Central, and South. My chapter participates in the south.
So what does the clinic have to do with my crappy whip? Well, the truth is that Hilda Gurney is this year's clinician. Hilda's barn is located in the Ventura area which is where I do most of my showing, so she has judged me more than once. I've also seen her show her horses many, many times and am always impressed with her rides. So, my whip ... no way I am taking one of them to ride under Hilda's watchful eye.
Over the weekend, I finally caved and perused our always friendly Riding Warehouse's whip selection. I landed on this gel handled version and thought it was worth a try. I am not sure the gel will hold up to repeated visits to the dirt, but at $12.95, it won't be the end of the world if it joins my family of misfit whips.
So, lessons with Hilda Gurney. Let's hope Speedy stays sound, Blue Truck keeps running, and I don't break any appendages in the next few weeks.
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%: