From Endurance to Dressage
Thankfully, not mine. Dr. Tolley came out for the neighbor's horses. It's always great to see Dr. Tolley when it's not one of my horses that needs to be seen. He's a pretty funny guy, and he's always willing to answer questions.
For this visit, the neighbor's mare had a tooth problem. Apparently she gets VIOLENT if you try to load her in a trailer or do any kind of medical procedure. She's an older gal though, so her owner and Dr. Tolley leave her at peace unless there's something really bothering her.
When her hay consumption changed dramatically, her owner knew something was wrong and put in a call to the vet. Since the mare is so difficult to treat, Dr. Tolley knew he'd have to put her out completely, which is what he did.
I hadn't ever seen a dental done like that, and Dr. Tolley explained that he would rather not do it this way, but sometimes it's necessary. During his exam, Dr. Tolley found a cracked molar that was loose which he had to pull. Had she just been sedated, the mare wouldn't have let him extract the tooth, so it was a good call to knock her out. It proved to be safer for her and Dr. Tolley.
Even though Dr. Tolley wasn't there to see one of my horses, he did a make a delivery and pick up. I had phoned early in the morning for a bag of supplies which he happily delivered. I needed more of BVH's White Lotion, some telfa pads, and some Dormosedan (a sedative) to help Izzy through his next shoe job.
Not only was Dr. Tolley kind enough to bring the stuff to me, but he willingly took a poop pile in exchange. I put Izzy's "donation" in his truck's refrigerator to be examined back at the hospital's lab. When we checked Izzy two weeks ago, he had a positive egg count. It was pretty low, fifty eggs per gram, but Dr. Tolley wanted him dewormed and then a follow up exam two weeks later. Happily, the tech called me back later that afternoon with the news that Izzy's latest sample came back negative, so yah! for effective dewormers.
Dr. Tolley also did a sheath cleaning and a fetlock injection during his morning at the neighbor's place. Since I knew it was Austin's sheath that was getting a lube job, I got out to the barn early to ride him first. I've been so busy during the week that it's been two weeks since I last rode him.
I had a really nice ride on him the day before and wanted to follow it up on Monday since I had the day off. We've had some really warm days this past week, like 85℉, so Austin was nicely forward. Cold, damp days are harder on the older guys. He was a real sweetie for both rides.
One of the things that our trainer wants me to do is help him build some cardio fitness, so we canter around my whole area twice in each direction. I ride in his owner's tack which is definitely not a dressage saddle. Cantering in two point puts a burn in my thighs that I can't get schooling my own horses in my saddle.
The other thing that I was able to work on is dropping my heels. In two point, it's much easier to lower my heels than when I am doing a rising trot with a longer stirrup length. Once I really got my legs under me, I found it was easy to drop my heels and just go with his rhythm. When I really wanted him to stretch out, I planted my hands in his crest which helped take some of the burn out of my thighs.
When I told JL about riding in a h/j saddle and how weird it feels, she just laughed and said that it's good to work different riding muscles. I agree. I rode Austin again last night, and I am looking forward to getting on him again this weekend.
Saddle time is saddle time; it's all good!
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%: