From Endurance to Dressage
This is not the post I had scheduled today, but sometimes, circumstances change. When I rode Izzy on Monday afternoon, he was sore. I chalked it up to body soreness from Sunday's challenging ride. Instead of working, we spent nearly an hour just walking. He wasn't outright lame, but he wasn't right either.
When I showed up at the ranch yesterday, he was sore in the front. My first thought was abscess. It has only rained twice all winter. The first time was quick and didn't even make mud. Last week's rain though left everything soaked, so an abscess seems like the obvious culprit.
I grabbed my hoof testers and went to work. I was only able to get the slightest response on the right front but nothing on the left. When asked to pivot on his front feet, Izzy could pivot on the left, but was uncomfortable when asked to pivot on the right. In a trot out, the head bob was seen on the left. Even with all of this, it seemed as though he were sore on both front feet. This would not be good.
There was no filling on the left leg and only a faint "softness" on the right, so subtle that your average Joe wouldn't have even caught it. With the ranch owner offering her feedback, I gave the hoof tester a second try. Again, I could get a slight reaction on the right and nothing on the left. When I used the hoof knife, I was immediately able to find what looked like a track line.
During the trot out, Izzy got a little "wild child" and jerked the lead rope from me and cantered gaily off to visit his friends. He was clearly not near death's doorstep. He was willing to carry weight on both feet, but it did seem as though he preferred to keep the right foot in front with the heel ever so slightly off the ground.
Is it an abscess? I don't know, but it's more than likely. I left him unwrapped for the night. I am "hoping" he'll be a little more lame this afternoon so that I can make a better judgement call. If he is obviously more sore on that foot, I'll poke around with the hoof knife to see if I can find an abscess so that it can drain. Either way, I'll poultice for two days, and then have another look. Fingers crossed that it is an abscess.
Better would be to say, fingers crossed that it's gone.
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%: