From Endurance to Dressage
Today is Speedy's last day of being on antibiotics. We're both relieved. In case you haven't picked up on it by now, Speedy is a bit of a drama queen, "a person who habitually responds to situations in a melodramatic way." He's also a diva, "a self-important person who is temperamental and difficult to please (typically used of a woman)."
So picture trying to jam 10, jumbo sized pills down the throat of a dramatic diva. You can see it, right? It's not easy. The only good thing I've got going for me is that Speedy is ... no offense meant here, Buddy - short. What I haven't had going for me is that I am giving those pills in the near dark, in freezing cold temperatures, while it's raining. Oh, and I am trying to stay clean enough to go straight to work.
When Drs. Tolley and Gonzalez explained that I'd be dosing Speedy with 10 SMZ tablets twice daily for a week, both eyebrows shot straight up. Mine, not theirs. Doubt and skepticism were plastered all over my face. Speedy doesn't do pills. Especially when they're a plural. You would not believe the rigmarole we go through to give him his Prascend tablet each day. I say "we" as though I am giving it when in reality it's the ranch owner who doses him each morning. Same thing.
After Speedy had refused every yummy treat that you could hide a pill in, I finally just opened his mouth and shoved the Prascend in. With no treat. How D'Ya like them apples, Speedy G? Turns out, Speedy G prefers to take it like a man. From that morning on, Ranch Owner now just pets him for a few moments and then opens his mouth and slides the pill in. Speedy acts offended of course, but he gets to make his point, and we get to make ours.
That approach wasn't going to work for these bad boys. They're large, and did I mention that there are 10 of them? Dr. Gonzalez showed me how they do it. He gave me a catheter syringe with the applicator tip cut off. He then instructed me to drop the 10 pills into the tube and cover them with water.
If you've already been down this road, you'll know that those pills dissolve fast. But since I was doing this task in the cold and dark, I decided to bring a thermos of hot water. If you haven't tried it yet, hot water dissolves those pills on contact.
Dr. Gonzalez next recommended a few drops of Karo Syrup, but I like molasses for this type of thing. Besides that, I long ago trained Speedy to eat molasses shoved in his mouth.
I went out on a "limb" here for the next part. Instead of letting the molasses ride around on the top, I grabbed a twig from the ground and appointed it my official stirrer. I gently mixed the molasses into the pill goop until it was a lovely caramel color.
The whole thing actually looks and smells quite delicious. The pills turn into a marshmallowy texture and the molasses looks a lot like chocolate syrup. I am not sure why Speedy doesn't love it. I am tempted to have a taste myself. Once everything is well-mixed, the final step is getting it into his mouth. It's tough to get that whole tube in his mouth and depress the plunger while holding his head in place.
I've gotten pretty good at it (insert eye roll and deep sigh). It has become yet one more thing I'd rather not be competent at doing. Please, Speedy, no more stunts for a while. Okay?
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%: