From Endurance to Dressage
Wow. Just, Wow.
When I published yesterday's post, I was feeling understandably frustrated and equally certain that I was going to receive a boatload of criticism. Rearing is dangerous and not something to mess with; sell him before you get hurt; get professional help. You know the kind of comments I mean.
But that isn't what happened. Instead, I got wave after wave of support, understanding, well wishes, and useful advice.
Thank you. Just, thank you.
I so want to respond individually to everyone's thoughtful comments and suggestions, but I am just too tired to do it. Totally off the subject, but as way of illustrating how my week has gone: the school where I teach was placed on lockdown on Wednesday afternoon. When we get "the call," we do not know why we are in lockdown or for how long it will last. We lock the doors, keep the kids quiet and safe, and monitor what's going on outside our windows in an effort to decide whether to hide or run.
Fortunately, our lockdown lasted less than half an hour and was the result of a home burglary a few blocks away. The supect(s) fled the scene and helicopters circled, trying to locate them. I later heard that several were apprehended and one, quite the idiot, reported his vehicle stolen (the one used in the crime), and was arrested at the police station as he was filing the report.
My school is organized and the staff well trained so all students and personnel made it through the day without any trouble, but we just never know how things will turn out. So yeah, I am a little tired and grateful that it's Friday. But that's not why you're here! Since so many of you offered advice or well wishes, I wanted to tell you what we are trying with Sydney.
We recognize that Sydney is rearing in what we hope is a last ditch effort to avoid doing something that he finds hard - bending and stepping deeply with his right hind. We know it's not saddle fit or pain. My saddle fitter likes the saddle for him, and the chiropractor was just out a few weeks ago and was quite pleased with how "well adjusted" he was (pun intended). If it's not pain, it's behavioral which means more training (and maybe some aversion therapy?). So here's what I am doing:
And that's where we are this week. I am going to Horse Expo this weekend (sweet!) so you won't hear from me until Monday. I will be able to ride at some point on Sunday, and I have Monday off (double sweet!) so my lesson will be earlier in the day. I will be sure to let you all know how the whacking goes. Hopefully he hates to be whacked more than he likes to rear. And once that attic door is shut, his only other option will be forward.
Unless he finds a basement door...
2/7/2014 12:28:14 am
Karen you are such an inspiration! You push through stuff that would really set me back! I am confident that you and Sydney will work through this!
Rearing is my absolute least favorite evasion, but Tucker went through a phase of experimenting with it...4-5 years ago? It took a lot of moral support from our instructor at the time and a lot of determination and focus on my part to project cool and confidence and _keep riding_ (and keep the door that I wanted him to go through open, to stay on the right side of putting him on the aids and trapping him between them) no matter what was happening underneath me. But a month later he was basically over it and I can count on one hand the number of times he's gotten light in front since.
2/7/2014 12:49:23 am
Things always go better when working a plan! Good luck!
2/9/2014 02:11:36 am
Hi there K, it has been awhile since I've wandered around the blog world. Haven't been riding but I'm hoping that changes soon. I'm glad to read that you and your ponies are forging ahead in your dressage journey. Sorry about the hickup with Syndey, my instructor always told me to "solve my problems forward," so it sounds like you have a good plan. So scary about your school incident, but I'm glad it turned out to be a non-event.
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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)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: