From Endurance to Dressage
That is the politest way to say how I am feeling which is closer to holy shite, Batman! If you've been reading somewhat regularly, you'll probably remember that in the spring, Speedy developed a summer sore in his urethra. Here are all of the previous posts detailing our battle against that malady.
Part 1 - Oh, Boy
Part 2 - Oh, Boy Was That Ever Gross
Part 3 - Still Gross
Part 4 - Speedy's Junk
I have probably mentioned Speedy's summer sore here and there in passing since that last post, but that was the final one specifically devoted to his man parts, until today that is.
On Thursday afternoon, the temperature was still in the high 80s, so rather than ride Izzy, I decided to remove Speedy's penis sock. Our fly season is nearly over but so are my opportunities for giving baths. We have a big storm rolling through today, but we might have one or two more warm afternoons in November. Since the horses' winter coats are coming in, I don't like to get them all the way wet unless I know they have all afternoon to dry off, especially Speedy. I realized that Thursday's warm weather was probably my best and last chance to soak Speedy without having him shiver.
To the rest of the world, what I am about to describe would be gross enough to make anyone gag and turn tail and run. Those of you who love your boys as much as I love mine know that sometimes, the only way to get a job done is to simply hitch up your britches, roll up your sleeves, and put your hair in a pony tail (no pun intended).
First of all, that sock was so stiff with dried urine and caked-on dirt that it was unbendable. It was as stiff as cardboard. I figured with a bit of water and a handful of Excalibur Sheath Cleaner, I could get it to slide off like an old bandaid. I was wrong, very wrong. I can't imagine how uncomfortable that has been for Speedy. Next summer, I have a different plan for protecting his nether region from the flies. Neither vet at Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital had any idea that sock would last more than a week or so. That it endured for four months was beyond their comprehension.
I started by squirting water up into Speedy's sheath to soak the the sock. When that did nothing but cover me in urine tinted water, I poured Excalibur into my hand and reached as deep into his sheath as I could, spreading the gelatinous goo all over the sock and the top of his penis. I alternated rubbing the Excalibur all over the sock with flushes of water from the hose. At the end of fifteen minutes, my only accomplishment was annoying the heck out of Speedy. The sock was still firmly attached.
I decided to tackle the probable a different way. Instead of Excalibur, I tried softening the adhesive holding the sock with baby shampoo. I sudded up, reached my soapy hand into his sheath, and began massaging and rubbing the stiff edges of the sock in hopes of getting a bit of movement from the bandaging material. No luck. Speedy was getting crankier by the moment, and truthfully, I couldn't blame him. As gentle as I was, I knew it must have been painful to have a sticky bandage being pulled repeatedly from his penis, especially so since it wouldn't come off.
Every few minutes, I acknowledged his I am trying really hard not kick you, lady threats and gave him a break. He never actually kicked, but his hind leg was cocked and ready to fire. He also kept swinging his head around to glare very pointedly at me.
After thirty minutes of getting nowhere, I finally called the vet and asked for some advice. According to Dr. Gonzalez, I was doing everything right, but he did suggest a calming agent. I am not sure why I didn't think of that, but I thanked him profusely and grabbed a tube of Dormsosedan Gel. Dr. G recommended that I give Speedy 1.5mL and allow it to work for at least 20 minutes. I keep the Dormosedan on hand for the 4th of July as Speedy gets really anxious when the neighborhood fireworks get too bad. I gave him a dose under his tongue and sat down to wait.
Speedy's penis never dropped all the way, but he did drop just enough that I was finally able to work one end of the Elastikon free. While keeping a tight grip on his penis, I was able to unwrap the bandage bit by bit. I know it was uncomfortable for Speedy, but once I had it going, I did lots of super quick pulls in an effort to unwind the bandage. To both our utter relief, the sock finally slid off. I gave Speedy a big pat and let him rest. After that, I had to reach in a few more times to pull off the crust that was adhered to his penis. With a bit more Excalibur, I gave his sheath and penis a final scrub, and then I rinsed everything gently and very thoroughly.
As soon as I was sure everything was clean, I unclipped his lead rope so Speedy could graze on the lawn. Instead, he gave his head a shake and gaily trotted away from me as fast as he could. That was a great sign. Almost immediately, he found his pee spot and let his penis drop. I hurried over to where he was squatting and gave his penis a good visual inspection as he peed. Everything looked bright pink and healthy. Over the next few days, I felt for any swelling and looked closely at his urethra and was relieved to see everything looked good.
While the penis sock did its job, I am not sure the difficulty of removing it was worth it. Poor Speedy!
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%: