From Endurance to Dressage
This was not my intended post for the day. I wanted to share how Izzy is settling in (really well) and how his first "lessons" are going. Instead I need to thank all of you for your overwhelming interest and support in Izzy's situation.
Boy, I know who to call if I need an attack dog! Some of you are tough ladies who can kick some butt! I also appreciated the many comments suggesting various recuperating therapies and remedies; I will certainly be talking those over with my vet. And some of you just sent much appreciated cyber hugs, thank you!
I think everyone wants to know how this happened. If I knew exactly, I would certainly have shared it, but since so many want to know I can only share what the trainer told me:
I’m so disappointed about Izzy’s mishap today but relieved it should end up being minor and that it should heal completely with no scars or permeant damage. Dr. [edited] of [edited] Veterinary was very optimistic about the end results saying the vertical wound was superficial and away from the areas that are problematic for proud flesh and scarring.
When I removed the bandage on Saturday, what I saw didn't look superficial, but by a veterinarian's point of view, maybe it was.
When he hurt himself he was having one of his fits running in and out of the stall because his neighbor was removed before him and he was frantic about temporary abandonment though he could still see all the other horses and [assistant] was trying to get him out for my ride that day. He kept running past her into and out of the stall calling for his friend and at one point she attempted to come into the stall with him the instant before he decided to charge out. Seeing that he was not going to stop she jumped clear while he launched left side swiping the panel at speed tearing the skin off the front of him lower left hind front cannon area.
This may very well be true. but the wound looks more like a leg that has been pulled across a board or bar of a fence. How he ripped the flesh straight down while swiping it sideways is a mystery to me, but there it is.
The trainer felt that Izzy's "extreme herd attachment" was the cause for all of this, and that could be true. When I bought him he was living in a huge (more than an acre) pasture by himself. He had neighboring horses in the pastures next to and across from his so he could always see horses, but this is the first time (in a awhile at least) he's had friends so close. Maybe in his anxiousness of being in a new place he used his neighbors as a security blanket and became distraught when they were removed. That's what the trainer thought anyway.
It's not what I've seen at home though ...
When I brought him home, he did attach himself to Speedy quite quickly, and started pacing and whirling and crying the second I took Speedy out of his stall. BUT. He remained aware of his surroundings and never bumped or touched a thing. Maybe he "taught" himself the need to be careful when he hurt himself. But then, when I separated the two horses I did it very carefully and for a short duration. On Saturday, I was able to ride, and while Izzy paced and called for a few minutes, he didn't lose his head.
I rode last night, and there were maybe two minutes of calling and a little bit of pacing. At one point during my ride, Izzy went inside and gave up on the whole thing. This is just after four days of living with me. The trainer had him six weeks.
Somewhere during the early part of adulthood, I learned a few things about happiness. Holding grudges just makes you unhappy. Being a victim makes you unhappy. Harboring anger and resentment make you unhappy, so does living in the past. While this is a terribly unjust situation (lots of lost time and money spent), I simply can't waste my time and energy being mad or trying to make her pay for it (literally or figuratively). I wouldn't win a court case, so there is no sense in revving up for that much stress.
Instead, I immediately focused on the good that can come out of this. Izzy and I now have several months to build a relationship before we begin the under saddle work. He now has time to build some confidence, which he really does lack. I'll work on getting him better for farrier work, being tied alone, lowering his head for the bridle (he's perfect for the halter now), and so on.
There is one more part to this story which I hesitate to share because it does seem mean spirited on my part and it might betray a confidence, but here goes ...
When I first called the trainer, she mentioned that she had been interested in buying Izzy herself but had passed because she doesn't need a horse for herself. I later found out that she had inquired about the horse. The owner refused the trainer's offers, but it seems like the trainer persisted at least several times. The owner eventually quite responding.
What does all of this mean? I don't know. I just find the entire situation puzzling, disappointing, and on the edge of suspect. So that's it. From here on forward, I am working on building a confident, happy horse!
Thanks for following our journey!
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
3/6-7 El Sueño (***)
4/17-18 El Sueño (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read