From Endurance to Dressage
And What of Speedy?
Speedy's well ... for now ... again. For how long though, I never know.
For the past several years, my speedy pony has had an issue in the right front. A few years ago, I took him to Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, a premier facility with state of the art equipment for both diagnosing and treating horses. Without an MRI, Dr. Carter Judy could only guess at a diagnosis: the collateral ligament was injured, or Speedy had a deep bruise. He was certain it was in the foot itself though.
After time off and a recheck by my own vet, we still don't know what's wrong with him for sure. He'll be perfectly sound for weeks and months, and then all of a sudden he'll be three-legged lame. There's no warning, no gradual lameness, no wonky step. He'll be acutely lame for two or three days and then the lamenss will fade over the next ten to twelve days.
My farrier thinks Speedy is bruising himself by striking his front hoof with the hind. He lives in bell boots, and I even recently switched to a really thick bell boot, but that hasn't helped.
Most of the time that Speedy comes up lame, I know why. It's nearly always the result of him pacing his fence line and whirling on the turn around. This last time, Speedy was uncharacteristically high while I was riding, so rather than fight with him, I put him in the round pen and let him work out his wiggles. He was lame the next day.
No more round pen for him.
The lameness doesn't worry me, but it does make me a bit sad. Speedy is only 12 years old. For an Arabian, that's quite young. I want him to have a long and productive life, so I am working hard to minimize these bouts of lameness. He no longer gets turned out in the arena to play, but he does get turned out every night. With the ranch so quiet at that time, he's less likely to pace and fret as horses don't come and go.
He's also on Platinum Performance which has some joint support among many other benefits. If it is bruising though, nothing other than bubble wrap is going to help.
The silver lining in all this is that once he's sound again, like this week, he's pleasant to ride and happy to get back to work. For his first ride back, after two weeks off, I hacked him around the neighborhood at a walk to let him just move and stretch, On our way home, I stopped by the old golf course for some trot work. He felt fantastic. Even with all of the starts and stops in our work together, he always picks up right where we left off.
He may be finished with his show career (but maybe not), but he's still a really fun horse to ride.
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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%: