From Endurance to Dressage
While I was at the SCEC show the other weekend, my friend Jen and I stopped by Dressage Extensions. For those of you that have actual tack shops, you're no doubt wondering why this is a thing. For those of you who don't live near a tack shop, you get it. Being able to touch the fabrics, finger the leather, and read ingredients is a very real treat.
I didn't have a shopping list, but I was very open to suggestion. Dressage Extensions is one of those shops that wows you as soon as you walk in. Beautiful stuff is displayed everywhere. Your best bet is to do one or two loops around the store just to admire everything. After you've had a chance to get a lay of the land, so to speak, you can then start honing in on the areas of interest.
Fortunately, both Jen and I were in a somewhat grubby state having just left the show grounds, so I didn't feel clean enough to try on anything. That is probably an excellent strategy for future visits. With that said, one of the sales clerks let me know how much she liked the breeches I was wearing. Whether it was a genuine compliment or not, it was good customer service, and I am extremely loyal to a shop when I know they care about whether I come back.
I did end up buying two items. The first was a Kavalkade Memory Foam Crown Pad. I doubt it will help, but I bought it with the hope that it might provide a bit of friction thereby holding Izzy's fly veil on when he tries to shake it off. On day one of the show, he shook his head hard enough in the second warm up that he slipped it off one ear. Not wanting a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the next test, I yanked it off and tossed it to my trainer, Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage.
For Sunday's tests, the fly veil stayed on, but I don't know if it was because I never let Izzy shake his head, or if the new crown pad did its job. Whether the pad works or not, I figure some extra padding across his poll can't be a bad thing. Of course, I also had to readjust his bridle's fit as the padding added just enough thickness that all of the straps needed to be dropped at least one hole.
The other thing I bought was a new hair net bun cover. Those things are ridiculously over-priced, but when you have long hair, you have to use something. I have the same bun cover in navy, and I love it. I use one of those easy bun things to roll my hair into a bun, and then I cover it with the hair net bun cover which has little mini jaw clips that hold it securely in place. The one I have is in navy though, and I just didn't like it with the maroon coat. Fortunately, Dressage Extensions had one in taupe which I think is neutral enough to wear with with my maroon helmet and coat.
Speaking of the new coat ... I was really pleased with how it looked paired with the new helmet. My hair was a bit of a mess as I didn't have the new bun cover, but for our next show, my hair will look much more tidy. As for the coat itself, the AA Motionlite, it was amazing. It was incredibly lightweight and so comfortable that even once my tests were finished, I left it on. Granted, the weather was mild, but even on a hot summer day, this thing is going to be so much better than coats of the past.
Had I known my boot's zipper was going to have a mid-life crisis, I would have tried on some boots while I was at Dressage Extensions, but obviously I didn't know that was going to happen. I was able to take my boots in to a shoe repair shop earlier this week. I've already had some work done on these boots in the past, so depending on whether the cordwainer* can improve the fit around the calf while replacing the zippers, I'll either keep them or re-home them.
*Yes, it's a real word! I discovered that a cobbler repairs shoes while a cordwainer makes shoes. The gentleman I took my boots to for repair, makes custom cowboy boots.
Dressage Extensions carries both the Petrie Sydney ($299.95) and Petrie Olympic ($599.95) dressage boots. They're both out of stock at the moment, but a new shipment is due in the next two weeks. I'm on "the list." I've never owned a pair of Petrie boots, but given their popularity, I am considering buying a pair. I like the idea of the inside zipper on the Petrie Olympic boots, but $600 (plus tax) is a lot to spend if my old boots can be repaired.
While I am not too excited about the idea, my schooling boots will have to serve until I can get my show boot situation resolved. As it is, one of the zippers on those boots has been getting a bit grumpy. They're "cheap enough" to replace, but I certainly don't want to buy two new pairs of boots in the same month.
I guess that's the problem with window shopping. It's really hard to look without buying 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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%