From Endurance to Dressage
Every now and again, Speedy gets a goopy eye. Fortunately, I haven't had to take him to the vet for it. Years ago, my Arabian Mickey Dee got an eye infection that blew up overnight. His eye was covered in nasty green goop that looked like it came from a science experiment gone horribly wrong. I scrubbed it clean, and when it looked worse the next day, I hauled him down to the vet and left him for a few days so that my vet could treat it several times a day. Speedy's isn't anything like that.
Over the weekend, Speedy's eye got a little swollen with a tiny bit of goop. I am sort of prone to eye infections myself, so I know that quick treatment is the best way to ensure that it doesn't get progressively worse. In Speedy's case, I always clean the affected eye with a wet cloth, and then I irrigate it with saline solution.
Speedy's not a fan of the treatment, but he also doesn't resist too terribly, at least, not for long. Not many horses, nor people, will stand quietly while you flush their eye out. To do Speedy's eye, I have to bend his head around so that he's staring at his shoulder. At first, he flies backward, certain it's going to hurt. i just go with him, telling him it's okay. Once he stops, I pinch his nose a bit and rest the syringe in the corner of the eye. For the first squirt of saline, he usually jumps backward until he realizes it's not acid.
When he finally accepts the treatment, I can push the syringe underneath his eyelid - by this point he has his eye squeezed tightly shut. I think it must feel good, because once I start depressing the plunger, he stands pretty quietly. Or, as quietly as one can with liquid being shot into your eye. I wouldn't be able to stand still for long either.
I usually flush it at least three times with a 20mL syringe, using all 20 mL in each flush. In between flushes, I always give Speedy lots of pats and cookies. You would think he would associate the cookies with getting his eye poked, but so far, he feels the cookies are his due payment for the pain and suffering I've caused him.
I am hopeful that by this afternoon the goop is gone and his eye is back to normal. If not I'll treat it for a few more days. If it's still not better, I'll give my vet a call, and then I'll need to order a new bottle of saline. Better to have too much on hand than not enough!
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%: