From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy and I showed on Sunday, and I am dying to share that, but other things have happened that I want to share first. So, first things first.
If you've been reading for at least five minutes, you know that my big brown horse hasn't been the easiest guy to bring along. He's notoriously sassy and rather opinionated.
Over the past six or so weeks, things have started to change, and I don't mean up and down, up and down. I mean changes that are consistent from day to day and week to week. It's as though he's finally getting it.
Each day last week, he gave me a winner of a ride. While that might not seem so spectacular, it is if you remember that a day off usually means starting all over. This week, Izzy had a day off between every ride, yet he came to work the following day ready to put his back into it.
I followed Chemaine Hurtado's simple adjustments, and it has really helped Izzy relax. After some reflection, I think there are two things in particular that really helped him settle down. The first is using just my seat bones to loosen his back without asking for any flexion through the neck or poll or withers. He seemed to relax much sooner by asking just with my seat bones.
The second thing that seems to have convinced him that it's more fun to relax is my promise to continue to let the misdemeanors go but not the felonies. There were several moments last week when I could tell he wanted to spook hard, but he resisted and nervously asked if he had done good. I praised him profusely for the smaller spooks and let him know that he had indeed done good.
Izzy was so reliable last week that I was finally able to promote him to the ported barrel bit. The correction bit, which we both love, is not show legal, nor is the ported barrel for that matter, but it's a step closer to the show legal bit that I have waiting for him. The show legal bit has loose rings and a ported barrel that is a bit wider and lower. Hopefully we can stay in this one for a while without needing a correction bit reminder.
Izzy had Sunday off because of the show, but I am so looking forward to today's ride. Was last week a fluke, or am I really on to something?
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%: