From Endurance to Dressage
Or at least I hope so ...
Izzy first showed some soreness two weeks ago today. I couldn't pinpoint its cause right away, but by Tuesday, I knew it was a lameness issue. By Wednesday I knew it was an abscess. I am normally pretty good at detecting where the abscess is, but this one threw me for a loop. I knew where he tested positive with the hoof testers, but it must have been deep because I simply couldn't find it with the hoof knife.
My options were to poultice until it popped out or went away, or I could have hauled him to the vet. After a week of agonizingly slow improvement, I did call the vet only to be told to press on and keep doing what I was doing. That wasn't necessarily what I wanted to hear, but why ask if you're not going to follow the advice you're given? I continued poulticing.
I changed the poultice every other day. For each change, I scraped the hoof clean, reapplied the hoof testers, and poked around with the knife. First Izzy was lame at the walk, then he was less lame at the walk, until finally, he was sound at the walk. Then he was lame at the trot, less lame at the trot, finally sound at the trot; on a straight line. Then he was lame at the trot on the lunge line, less lame on the lunge, until finally, he looked normal on the lunge which is never all that pretty anyway.
On Saturday, twelve days after first feeling something was off, I was finally able to saddle up for a short let's see how you feel ride. To my relief, Izzy felt great! On Sunday, he was a rocket; no surprise since he had done nothing for two weeks. Would the abscess have cleared up sooner had the vet dug it out? I don't think so because then I would have had to wait for the hole to fill in. He now appears sound, and there is nothing left to wrap or bandage.
Either way, hauling Izzy to the vet hospital or poulticing day after day, wasn't cheap. While I keep my medical kit very well stocked, nearly two weeks of poulticing made a big dent in my abscess kit. I hate that I even need an abscess kit, but Speedy's PPID (Cushing's Disease) has shown me the value of keeping the right supplies on hand.
I was on my final roll of duct tape, my Numotizine was getting down to the bottom third of the container, and my mountain of elastic bandages had turned into a glorified hill. Running out of bandaging and/or poulticing material is a sure-fire way to induce another abscess or worse. I restocked everything.
Hopefully the abscess is really and truly gone. In my experience, they can appear to be resolved, but once the horse is put back to work, the inflammation returns, and you're stuck doing it all over again.
If that does happen, at least my materials have been restocked, and I'll be well prepared.
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%: