From Endurance to Dressage
Life has been verging on the out of control lately as I find myself working ridiculously long hours. You would think that working from home would make life easier. Sure, I can get a load of laundry done, and I can pee without having my neighbor come over to watch my class, but the work that distance learning requires is wearing me out.
Life must go on though, and I refuse to let this pandemic change every aspect of my life. No matter how tired I am, I make it to the barn anyway to ride or take care of what needs to be done. So, here are a few interesting updates.
Update #1 Pivo Pod
After a few initial adjustments, my Pivo has tracked me pretty much perfectly. When Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, comes down for a lesson, she no longer has to be videographer and trainer both. That part has been working great for several months. The trouble I was having was that my iPhone 7 Plus's battery would be drained by the end of the lesson.
I know I mentioned this already, and I shared my plan, but the first time I tried, my solution didn't work. My husband replaced my last solar charger when mine was stolen in November. The first time I connected my solar charger to my phone while using the Pivo, it didn't charge. I later discovered that unlike my first charger, you have to turn this one on. Doh! When I tried the whole set up again this weekend, I turned the darn thing on, and what do you know? It worked! At the end of the lesson, my phone was still at 100%. You gotta love smart technology.
Update #2 Gastro Elm
I now know with absolute certainty that the GastroElm is working. After giving it daily for almost two weeks, I missed a day at the barn. The very next day, Izzy's poop was once again ploppy, and the day after that, his belly was sensitive to grooming.
On one hand, I am thrilled that it is working. On the other, it's frustrating that the ulcer hasn't healed. I am hoping that if I persist with the activated dose, his tummy will eventually heal over. I had planned to just sprinkle the powder straight into his lunch, but since his stomach is till not quite right, I'll continue activating the GastroElm before top dressing his feed.
On the day his tummy was sensitive, I also syringed a dose before riding. I really like that about this product. You can dose them several times a day as needed for more instant "relief." I know UlcerGard (and GastroGard) should be the better choice, but honestly, I got quicker results with the Gastro Elm.
Update #3 Shedding
It always catches me off-guard how early in the year that Izzy starts to shed. The first hairs started to let loose over the weekend. I know the shedding is connected to daylight hours, but winter only just arrived here in California's Central Valley. We had our first heavy rain of the season. Before Sunday's rain, it had only rained about 0.2". Even with this week's heavy rain, we're still under 2 inches for the year!
Speedy of course won't start shedding until March or so, and then he'll continue shedding all summer. It could be just his age, but it's much more likely that his PPID (Cushing's Disease) is affecting his coat. Each year his coat gets a little longer, and he takes longer to lose it.
Focusing on all of the little things like solar power, ploppy poop, and shedding hair forces me to step away from my job even if just for an hour or two. My brain and emotional health say thank you.
Sometimes, it's the little things that are important.
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%: