From Endurance to Dressage
Since Speedy needed to go to the vet, I actually tossed everyone in the trailer, including Izzy. I usually get all of my annual vet stuff done during my spring break, which is fast approaching, but since Speedy needed to go earlier than expected, I figured I'd just get everything done in one trip.
I was really proud of how well Izzy took to the trip. He hadn't been ridden or turned out in three days, but he still loaded up right behind Speedy and rode quietly. I always get to my appointments a little early so that my horses can stand around a few minutes and get their bearings. He stood happily at the trailer with Speedy, although he did take a few bites out of Speedy's rump. Ever the tolerant fellow, Speedy just gave a bit of a grunt and swished his tail.
Dr. Tolley suggested we put Izzy in one of the catch pens while he worked on Speedy, and while Izzy ran around and screamed for a few minutes, he finally settled down, and I never heard another peep from him.
Dr. Tolley always sedates the horses for the dental work, but even before he had his little cocktail, Izzy was quite compliant and didn't offer any sort of a fuss. He walked right into the stocks and trusted that we were looking out for him. I love how trusting of humans he is. Dr. Tolley worked on Izzy's teeth and gave him BVH's recommended core vaccines. Both horses also got fecals done, both of which were negative.
Dr. Tolley always asks if I have any specific concerns or things that he needs to check out. I always come with a list: How's his weight? Quite good considering how difficult Dr. Tolley thought it was going to be to get weight on such an active horse. Has he grown at all? Nope, he still sticks out at 16'3. Check out his leg. According to both Dr. Tolley and Dr. Gonzalez, I did an excellent job. No concerns. What's this thing on his sheath? Hmm ... that's not supposed to be there - sarcoid.
Sarcoids are a type of cancer, but they do not metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. There are a number of ways to treat sarcoids, but since this one is so small, Dr. Tolley decided to treat it with Xxterra Bloodroot Paste.
" ... to stimulate the host's immune system and result in an immune rejection reaction of the sarcoid."
The plan is to smear the sarcoid with the paste once a day for 4 to 6 days until I start to see the sarcoid drying up and beginning to lift away. Dr. Tolley warned me that the sheath will swell and be painful to the touch. The good thing is that the Xxterra doesn't affect healthy skin (is it magical or what?!?!?), so it won't do any harm if I put too much on or miss the target area.
While sarcoids terrify some owners, Dr. Tolley was decidedly unimpressed with this one and felt confident that this treatment would do the trick. He does not subscribe to the notion that one sarcoid means others are on their way. If the Xxterra doesn't work, he'll cut the sarcoid away and then freeze the site.
If I weren't such a Pollyanna, I'd probably be crying right now: Horse #1 has a bowed tendon (Dr. Tolley's official diagnosis was "tendonitis") and Horse #2 has cancer (eye roll - not that kind of cancer). Sounds pretty rotten/horrifying doesn't it?
The honest truth is that I am not down or mopey or even pouty about this at all. Nothing in my life is any different than it was a week ago. Well there might be a slight change as Speedy won't be going to any shows over the next few months, and there are a LOT fewer dollars in my checking account, but outside of those two conditions, I am business as usual.
Speedy will heal up just fine, and a sarcoid is really no big deal. And while Izzy's sheath was quite a bit bigger last night, I had a FANTASTIC ride on him that included cantering on both leads where he was balanced (or at least not out of control) and full of try. Honestly, I wouldn't trade places with anyone!
Except for maybe Bill Gates ... I'd trade places with him and then build dressage venues all over the country and stock them with excellent judges and invite EVERYONE to come and ride for free!
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%: