From Endurance to Dressage
I have owned Izzy for nearly eight years. In all of that time, he has been the Jack the Ripper of fly masks. There have been times when he has had his brand new fly mask ripped into multiple pieces on the same day that I put it on him. Eventually, it got to the point where I bought him ONE fly mask in the early summer; what he did with it was up to him. You wrecked it? Oh, so sad. It's the only one you're getting!
And then a month or so back, I went to the new Dover store in Moorpark and plunked down enough dinero that I qualified for a free fly mask. This one to be exact - the Noble Outfitters™ Guardsman™ Fly Mask. Its regular price is around $35, way too much money for a horse who will happily turn it into confetti before I can get off the property. But free? Heck yeah. I figured it might last a week.
As it turns out, this fly mask is the Panzer of all fly masks. When I held it in my hands in the store, I was a bit overwhelmed by its sheer volume of mesh and rigidity. This thing can stand up and walk on its own. If Izzy and the Guardsman were to square off in a duel of velcro vs. hoof, I think that fly mask might actually come out on top. This thing is one tough mudder, and it comes back for more.
Not only does it have a unique design that keeps the mask from touching the horse's face - Noble Outfitters calls it a canopy, but it has a velcro system that seems to defy equine self-removal. I also like the removable nose guard that would cover a normal horse's muzzle. Izzy has a finer head, but it is freakishly long. Horse size is sometimes too short, but warmblood size swallows him whole.
So far - KNOCK ON WOOD, Izzy has been wearing it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and NOT ONCE has he been able to get it off. This is the longest lasting fly mask I have ever owned (for him - Speedy's last several years without Izzy's interference). I like this fly mask so much, that I ordered a second one in case he does damage to this one. And if I don't need it, I'll have one lined up and ready to go next summer. As luck would have it, the mask is on sale with an additional 20% off with a promotional code that Dover makes easy to find. I paid $15.98 for it.
I think the sale is on through July 31st in case you also have a Jack the Ripper in your barn.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%