From Endurance to Dressage
On Thursday afternoon, I clipped a lot of Speedy's fetlock hair in preparation for this weekend's upcoming show. I spent a lot of time looking at his feet while I hacked away at all those feathers. Afterwards, I gave him a pretty good work out. The next afternoon, while doing my daily "check," I saw this.
I groaned out loud, and my stomach rolled unpleasantly. I needed a second pair of eyes, so I immediately texted the ranch owner. She came out and looked at it with me. It was definitely not there the afternoon before, and in fact, it looked old. We both stood there poking it and tossing out ideas. Maybe he ... He could have ... What if he ... Neither of us had ever seen anything like it.
I jogged him out. He was sound. I carved at it with a hoof pick. It collapsed in a bit more. All the while, Speedy stood there half asleep, occasionally checking for treats as I rested his hoof on my thigh. Nothing I did elicited any kind of pin response, and Speedy's not particularly stoic.
Our best diagnosis was that it might have been an old abscess that never surfaced. That didn't ring true though as he hadn't been unsound. And with Speedy, abscesses have hurt enough to make him really lame. Our other thought was that he whacked it some time ago, forming a bruise. It could also be something completely different. Whatever it was, we surmised that during our ride the day before, his hoof must have flexed enough to weaken the damaged part of the hoof which then flaked away.
My most immediate concern was that the hole might be deep enough to have gone through the hoof wall into the sensitive lamina. As we studied Speedy's hoof, we did some very rudimentary measurements and determined that the hole was probably still within the horn of the hoof. Just to be on the safe side, I flushed the hole with Betadine solution which would help reduce the risk of infection. It was just after 5:00 which meant my vet's office was closed for the day. Since Speedy wasn't in any pain, I decided to wait until the next morning before calling the vet.
The next morning, the hole looked less ragged. I decided to ride before calling the vet. I wanted to see if I felt anything that was Not Quite Right (NQR). We had a great ride, and the next day, Speedy gave me the best third Level work he's ever done.
Needless to say, I haven't called the vet yet. It seems that whatever it was, it resolved itself long ago, and today I am just looking at the remnants. My farrier is due in early March. I'll let him tell me what he thinks it was.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%