From Endurance to Dressage
I had actually sent in an entry for a completely different show, but a week or so ago, the property owner felt it necessary to cancel at the last moment due to fear of COVID-19. The show secretary told me that the SLO-CDS Wine Country Show was still scheduled to go. I quickly contacted that show secretary and submitted an online entry. There was a glitch though; the stabling was full. It's slightly over two hours to Paso Robles, and the show was a two-day show. Speedy had to sleep somewhere.
I quickly called a friend who lives in the area. I knew he'd be able to help me, and sure enough, he had a fantastic solution. A year or so ago, he had purchased 20 acres just minutes from the show grounds and said Speedy and I were welcome to camp at his place. It had been a long, long time since Speedy had spent a night at the trailer, but I knew he'd be okay. Neither of us got much sleep - horses tied to the trailer make a ridiculous amount of noise, but it all worked out.
On Friday, I drove straight to the show grounds for a quick tour of the place and a super short warm up ride. After showing a few weeks ago, I had created a new showing plan that called for a minimal ride on Friday, quick warm up on Saturday, and virtually no warm up for Sunday. I stuck to that plan, and I am glad I did. It was 100 degrees all three days. As it was, Speedy was exhausted by Sunday morning, and we had early ride times which meant we showed during the coolest part of the day. Those riders who showed at 4:00 in the afternoon deserve some serious respect. And a beer.
After our quick ride on Friday, I hauled Speedy over to my friend's house and set up camp. Early the next morning we drove back to the show grounds. Around noon, I loaded him up for the return trip back to camp. On Sunday morning, we again drove to the show, but instead of returning to camp after our test, we headed back home to Bakersfield. I have to say that Speedy got a little tired of getting in and out of the trailer.
Knowing that California is teetering on the edge of a return to a complete shut down, the show secretary followed US Equestrian's rules to fidelity. Upon arrival each day, including Friday, every person's temperature was checked at the front gate. Masks were required, and social distancing was enforced. Scores weren't posted anywhere which discouraged "loitering," and there was no real show office. Most communication was done over the phone. There was a see-through barrier placed between the judge and the scribe, who wore a mask. The judge didn't wear a mask while seated, but I am sure that was so the scribe could hear her.
You would think all of these precautions would suck the joy right out of showing, but you know, it didn't. Yes, the mask was uncomfortable, especially in the excessive heat, but it was worth it to be able to show. I always travel alone, so not being able to bring spectators doesn't really affect me. I did hang out with my host - he was in charge of dragging the arena, watering, and running the freestyles, and the people I parked near each day were all great fun.
To be continued ...
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%: