From Endurance to Dressage
I know poop is gross, and talking about it is also gross, but when you own horses, poop is just part of life. A week or so ago, I wrote about giving Izzy a break from the Gastro Elm, a product that I really like. As of this weekend, it seems that I made the right call.
I know this is a funky topic, and what I am going to describe next definitely falls under the category of TMI, but here goes. The first thing I started to check for was the sour smell that had wafted from Izzy's hind end. Every time he lifted his tail, I dashed to his hind end and took a whiff much like a sommelier might do over fine bottle of wine. I even did that little hand wave to direct the bouquet more directly toward my olfactory receptors.
To my surprise, it only took a day or two for the sour smell to disappear. On Friday afternoon, I saw Izzy's tail go up, so I dropped everything and made a mad dash to his newly deposited poop pile. I leaned as close to the top of the pile as I could while being careful not to actually touch it with my nose and inhaled deeply. No one on planet earth has ever given a more satisfied grunt of approval as I did over that steaming pile of poo. It was nearly odorless!
While Izzy's poop still isn't as solid as it should be, it is definitely moving in the right direction. It's also losing it's yellow-green color. Horses who eat alfalfa will have bright green poop - Speedy's is the color of grass. Izzy's poop was chartreuse, a greenish-yellow that is not alfalfa green. Given that he eats grass hay, his poop should be brown out the gate. It isn't. The photo below, while not chartreuse, does show the formless mass that it has been until this past week.
So, in just one week, the odor has disappeared, the color is improving, and the texture is getting firmer by the day. By the end of week two, I should have a better feel for what his stomach and hind gut are doing. If his gut can can find a better equilibrium, I'll know that the GastroElm might best be saved for use when traveling and showing.
If I were throwing dice, I'd be yelling, come on brown poop!
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%: