From Endurance to Dressage
Her nicknames are Little Turd, the Devil, and Yellow Dog - when she's being decent. At three years old, most labrador retrievers start to settle into adulthood; most I said, but not all. Brienne of Tarth, named for the lady knight in Game of Thrones, is obviously a very, very slow learner.
If you do any kind of quick search through my past blog posts, especially if you look under "dogs," you'll find several posts showing the destruction of shipping boxes, plants, and probably a garden hose or two. Just over a year ago, Brienne demolished a palm in the front yard, not a Sego - that probably would have killed her. We spent one very rough night in the dog version of the emergency room having her treated for severe diarrhea, exhaustion, and dehydration.
This past Friday night, the UPS guy delivered Izzy's SmartPak. It was after 8:00 pm, and he didn't ring the doorbell, so the box sat outside all night. I put both dogs out at 5:00 a.m. the next morning, and my husband brought them in an hour and a half later for breakfast. During that hour and a half, the Little Turd managed to chew open the cardboard box, tear through the cellophane wrappers, and eat six days' worth of SmartGI Pellets.
The joke is on her though. Smart GI, when eaten THREE WELLS a day - not 18 like she ate, is intended to support a balanced hind gut and maintain stomach health. In HORSES! Not yellow dogs. Guess who didn't end up with good stomach health? Yup, Yellow Dog spent two days with vial diarrhea. I won't go into detail.
As furious as I was, I still did my due diligence (I didn't want her to die or anything). I spent the morning on the phone calling SmartPak and our local emergency vet for advice. I also printed out the ingredient list and poured through the ASPCA's poisonous plants page. Fortunately, none of the ingredients appeared toxic, and other than some nasty poop piles, she behaved pretty normally.
In the end, we decided to just keep an eye on her. I gave her some rice-heavy meals to help her digestive system, and we encouraged her to drink lots of water. She was fine by Tuesday, of course, but I guarantee she'd do it again tomorrow if a box showed up.
I've changed my SmartPak delivery address. Future boxes will now be delivered to the ranch.
Bad, bad, BAD dog!
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%: