From Endurance to Dressage
I hope so anyway ... A few bits of this and that -
It's only Wednesday morning, very early morning, and I am already griping about the length of the week. Lots going on at work, but I am determined to suck it up and not let it interfere with tonight's lesson, or this weekend's show.
A joke went around on Facebook a few weeks ago: After Tuesday, even the calendar says W-Th-F! Kind of my sentiments for the morning.
Grrr ... maybe it's better not to ride after a long work week, and an equally long horse week. Dealing with the regular stresses of life and then having Speedy's hospital visit to deal with sort of wore me out. I am not so much physically tired as I am mentally fatigued. Even so, horses must be ridden.
It seemed a good motivator to set up the camera to video my ride on Sunday. We've made so much progress that I wanted to see it for myself. Twenty-four minutes into the ride, I got off and turned the camera off in disgust. I didn't have to see it to know that was ugly footage.
Sydney simply would not maintain a steady rhythm. He would not soften or bend his neck. In fact, he wouldn't do much of anything. I tried every trick I could think of. He was simply heavy and ploddy up front and my aids were completely ineffective. All of this my fault. I know that. I just couldn't seem to get myself together.
With the camera turned off, I regained my motivation and decided to really take hold of Sydney and put his butt to work. I shortened my reins, which I had been trying to do for close to half an hour, but this time, I held onto them. I put my legs firmly against Sydney's sides, and I started using my back and shoulder blades.
Viola - there it was. All of a sudden Sydney was moving forward. He started making those lovely little grunting sounds he makes when he's using his back, and the foam started building in his mouth. All it took was for me to really engage my seat and core. Once I stopped worrying about how we looked on the video, I got a much better connection. What I need to remember is to establish a rhythm, shorten my reins, and use my core and back. It sounds so simple...
A week ago Saturday, RM and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood. Since these properties are several acres in size, it doesn't really look like your typical neighborhood. We enjoyed an hour of October sunshine under a brilliant blue sky. It's still in the mid-80s here, but at least our mornings have begun to cool.
Bounder and Speedy G enjoyed leaving the arena for a walk "on the buckle". We even stopped at a row of apple trees and picked a snack for everybody. The ponies really seemed to enjoy the unexpected treat. Here's a clip from our first few minutes out. Enjoy!
Woohoo! He made it home on Saturday afternoon as planned. I would like to say, just for the record, that I had a bunch of other blog posts ready for this weekend and I really wish I could have stuck to those topics instead of this one. Speedy's treatment is listed below the photos. Again, thanks for the well wishes!
Speedy G was discharged from the vet hospital at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The diagnosis? Unclear. Best guess? Upper respiratory infection. Since his blood work came back with absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, Dr. B just couldn't say if he had a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Even though he was released, she asked me to watch him closely as something may still surface. I am to administer twelve tablets twice daily of the antibiotic SMZ-TMP for the next 8 days.
He has been cleared for a light walking ride on Sunday and if no symptoms return and he remains cough and booger free, he can go to my Wednesday evening lesson and the Clovis show on Sunday. As of Saturday afternoon his nose was clear, there has been no cough since Thursday night, and he is quite the perky fellow.
So here is a detailed list of his treatment:
Welcome home, Speedy G!
After a busy workday, I saw Speedy G at Bakersfield Vet Hospital on Friday. Sorry, no photos. When I arrived, Dr. B and I went to his stall and watched him acting like his regular, goofy self. Even though he looked great, Dr. B wanted to continue the injectable antibiotics and even administered another IM dose of Banamine. Her concern is that his "bug" might reappear given the every-other-day nature of his illness. I agreed.
Dr. B reported that when she arrived at the hospital on Friday morning, she was quite surprised to see how perky he was and that he had finished his dinner. She was even more baffled when all of his blood work came back in the normal range. Every parameter was normal: his white blood cell count was dead on with nothing even slightly elevated, his pulse and respiration were back to normal, and his fever was gone. In fact his temperature had dropped below 100, a very good sign. His nose looked really clean and he hadn't coughed. For a horse who had presented such obvious symptoms of disease the night before, he looked as though nothing had been amiss.
So what does he have? She doesn't exactly know. She's calling it an upper respiratory infection for now. Since his blood work was clean, it wasn't clear whether it is/was viral or bacterial. Just to be safe, he'll get another dose of antibiotics injected via IM on Saturday morning. And since he's there, we're going to go ahead and do his fall fecal count. I had wanted to wait until mid-November, but I might as well save myself a trip. I'll bring in a Sydney sample later in the day when I am there.
So the plan is that Speedy G gets to come home on Saturday afternoon. He'll continue with oral antibiotics for 7 - 10 days. I certainly hope he looks good for Dr. B this morning when she sees him. I'll let you know if he makes it home today. Speedy G says thanks for the many well wishes - they must have worked!
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 …
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
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