From Endurance to Dressage
But first, an update on the Cottonwood Fire ... Gray Stallion was not the only survivor! Since yesterday, I have discovered that one horse is being treated for burns by a friend. She is covering the vet bills and treating the mare. I've also heard that Dr. Pipkin, from a different practice, is treating at least two others for burns and smoke inhalation. Other horses were led away from the scene, but I don't know how many, nor whether they were burned or injured. We do know that nearly two dozen were killed. It's shaping up to be a tough October here in sunny California ...
This past Thursday, I hauled Speedy down to Bakersfield Vet Hospital for a progress check on his coronary band injury. I should mention that getting Speedy to the vet on a weekday requires a very early start to the day.
I work fairly close to the vet hospital, but Speedy and I both live about 30 minutes to the east. The only way to get him to the vet before they close is to drop him off on my way to work. To do this, I have to drive to the barn, and switch vehicles (and my work keys, ID badge, barn bag, etc.). Then I have to round Speedy up from his turn out and load him in the pitch black.
We then make the half hour journey to the vet hospital where I unload him and find his day stall. The gate is locked, but the staff gives me the gate code. Once he's tucked in, I race back out to my truck and grab him some alfalfa for the day's wait.
I then navigate my truck and trailer through city traffic and park alongside the school where I work. The kids think it is quite funny to see a horse trailer parked next to the bike racks. After the last bell rings, I jump back in the truck and retrace my steps to the vet hospital for a late afternoon appointment.
I've done this trip three times this school year; once with Izzy and now twice with Speedy. I am amazed each time at how much my horses must trust me to so willingly load up in the dark only to be deposited in a somewhat unfamiliar place. I love them for trusting me.
Once I was back at BVH, I brought Speedy into the examining bay and pulled his bandages. Both Dr. Tolley and Dr. Gonzalez were quite pleased with my bandaging skills. I laughed and explained that I have been forced to become an expert. Once they saw how well the initial wound had healed, they were even more pleased.
Thankfully, Dr. Tolley agreed that we were past the bandaging phase and had arrived at the watch the hoof grow stage. There are a few things I need to keep an eye open for though as we wait. As the new hoof grows into the gap, it might grow at a faster rate than the hoof surrounding it which might force the hoof below the gouge to run out of room. This would create a bulge.
One way to relieve the pressure is to cut a piece out of the bottom of the hoof so that everything above it can settle downward. My farrier will be out in a few weeks so that is definitely something he will need to look at. It is also possible that Speedy will simply wear away or break off any hoof that protrudes below the bottom edge of the hoof wall.
Ultimately, we're waiting for about 2 centimeters of new hoof growth so that the gouged part of the hoof starts to come straight down. Dr. Tolley drew a a sketch to illustrate what it should look like over the next month or so. Once it reaches this stage, we'll decided whether it needs to be patched or doctored in any way.
I am hugely optimistic that we'll be back to work far quicker than I first worried. Right now, the wound is hard and clean and the coronary band is quickly leveling off. Just a few days ago, it still looked like it was shoved upward.
I can't wait to see what my farrier thinks.
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%: