From Endurance to Dressage
Last Monday, we made the trip to Alamo Pintado, and since that day, Speedy's done nothing but walk around and eat. Speedy lives in a large sandy paddock, which both the vet at Alamo Pintado and my own vet think is the best possible situation for him. The more he can move around, the better. Standing in a stall or small paddock would make arthritis much harder to deal with.
Since he lives turned out all day long, I left him alone all week letting him wander and move as he saw fit. He got his daily cookies and a bucket of goodies for lunch, but that was it. On Saturday, I decided Speedy was ready for a lameness check. I walked him up to the round pen just to see if anything had changed, not that I thought it would have, but I wanted to check. I shot a short video, but it's not very good. It's hard to keep the camera steady while clucking and tapping the whip.
If you're looking for the lameness, watch his left (inside hind leg). That toe wants to drag a bit. If you listen closely, you can even hear the uneven footfalls. And before you panic, he's not sweaty. The "wet" spots are just left over from the dust control sprinkler from the day before. He likes to stand out in the mist, and then later, as he walks around, the dust sticks to his wet coat and dries.
One of the privileges that Speedy has earned over the past year or so is the luxury of being let loose on the ranch with just a halter. After his two minutes in the round pen, I let him loose to roam the yard as I groomed and later rode Izzy. This "turnout" is one of the best things for him as he loves to poke around the ranch visiting the other horses and grazing on the lawn. He walked around for nearly two hours. That kind of movement is great for keeping an arthritic hock from stiffening up.
For now, a weekly lameness check will be the extent of his workload. When and if he trots off sound, I'll think about riding him, if he's less lame by the end of September, Dr. Tolley and I will discuss using Equioxx to see if that will keep him sound enough for actual work. Until then, he'll get lots of turnout in the yard, cookies, and some grooming.
As long as he's happy, I'm happy.
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%: