From Endurance to Dressage
Each morning, I hold a morning meeting for my 5th graders who are attending school virtually. I volunteered for the Virtual Academy. The jury is still out as to whether or not that was a wise move. I am quite possibly the most experienced virtual teacher in my district, but experience doesn't necessarily indicate one's level of wisdom. I am questioning some of my recent life choices, especially this one.
When the milk has been spilt, and the water has gone beneath the bridge, the only thing to do is move forward. So despite the twelve hour work days, I am doing the best job I can. Among my many responsibilities, one of my priorities has been to make genuine, emotional connections with my students. I email every student at least once per day, I work with them in small groups, and I let them do as much talking as the schedule allows. During our morning meeting, I always make sure we have time for riddles, a morning corny (or five), and a class favorite, Would You Rather?
To play the game, a person has to address a dilemma, usually between two very appealing, unpleasant, or otherwise tricky choices. The two choices are usually mutually exclusive meaning you can't have both. You have to chose one or the other and then explain why you made that choice. I let the kids choose the dilemmas, and boy are they good at it. In many versions of the game, you get to choose things like being bald or having a hairy body; having chopsticks up your nose, or scissors for fingers; having feet for hands or hands for feet.
In my class, they immediately upped the ante by asking things like: would you rather have world peace or a cure for cancer? Get a million dollars once or start with a penny and double the amount each day for 30 days? Be beautiful and stupid, or ugly and smart? Not joking. These are fifth graders, and they take the answers quite seriously. They are also generous; you're allowed to change your answer after hearing what someone else says. I change my answer all the time.
Besides the would you rather cure cancer or have world peace question, my second favorite has been, Would you rather ride a unicorn or a dragon? I am going to just put this out there. I literally heard tires screeching and brakes squealing. Would I what? Hands down I'd rather ride a ... and then the reality hit me. Yes, of course I want to ride a unicorn. Who wouldn't? But then I realized the truth. Dragon all the way. The unicorn didn't stand a chance. My entire class agreed with me.
That's when I really started to understand how important these Would You Rather? dilemmas are. They challenge our beliefs, they make us articulate why, and they help us to understand the choices that other people make. We all make tough decisions every day. We either pay for a nicer boarding facility or we have more money for lessons. We forego the pedicure for ourselves in order to pay the farrier. We do three schooling shows or only one USDF show. The list goes on and on. Unless you're super wealthy, and not many are, we have to make choices. For me, those choices are almost always of the would you rather variety. and I don't get to choose both.
Just for fun, I threw together a Would You Rather via a Google Form. No need to login or share your email. Just click the link, make your choices, and check back to see how everyone else answered.
I'lll go first.
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%: