From Endurance to Dressage
More than one person has asked me how Speedy hurt himself in the first place. The short answer is that I only know how he hurt front leg number 2; I saw hunks of hair and flesh at the bottom of the gate as he was whirling back and forth in a fit of stupidity. So yeah, mark that particular mystery as solved.
The other two? Well, I am guessing that he also hurt leg number 1 in the same way. Even though we looked very carefully, we couldn't find blood or hair anywhere, so really, we're just guessing. As for the hind leg, who knows? Cutting the front of a hind leg is kind of hard to do. He would almost have had to back into something, kick through it, and then rake his leg as he pulled it back through. Horses, they're more talented than we give them credit for.
Speedy's a great horse. For me. He's not perfect though. As much as I adore his can and will do attitude at shows, managing him at home is not always so easy. Maybe we ought to just go on the road full time. It would certainly solve a few problems.
Horses need companions. They need to have a herd, even if it's just a herd of horse and chicken, horse and goat, or horse and blue barrel. As long as there is someone else, most horses are pretty happy. I've tried to always keep my horses where they had some type of companionship
Speedy is a bit of an enigma though. Depriving him of a friend is about the only way to keep him happy (and healthy). When we first moved to the ranch a few years ago, he and Willy lived together. When Speedy was out, Willy was in. In the mornings, Speedy came in while Willy went out. Things worked mostly well. Even though they always had a fence between them, Speedy was constantly sporting chew marks or gashes earned from playing with Willy. They were confirmed frenemies. Willy moved out a month or so ago.
Without the need to share the turnout anymore, Speedy got upgraded to full time turn out. His gate was left open, and he had full access to the dry pasture. That meant he also had full access to the hottie who lives next door. She's a lovely chestnut mare who uses her feminine wiles to keep everyone in her vicinity on their toes. You should see her haughty little hair flip, and when she really wants to drive the boys wild, she'll nap buck naked in the middle of her field without caring who sees her. Hussy.
Unfortunately, Speedy loves her just a little too much. When Willy lived with him, Speedy had to share Red Mare. Now that Willy's out of the picture, Speedy has her all to himself. Unfortunately, she became too much of a good thing and became all Speedy could think about. He took up residence at the gate so that he could be nearer to her while she went about her business. Stalker.
While being a stalker in real life is gross and creepy, it wouldn't have meant much in the equine world except that Speedy became a bit obsessed about being near Red Mare. And if he couldn't be near her, no one else was going to be permitted to either. Enter new equine ranch member. I haven't yet taken his picture, but Rocky is a nice enough fellow. He just had the misfortune of being placed next to Red Mare.
Speedy's response to that was an emphatic hell no! While the whirling and pacing had been irritating before, this newer, angrier pacing was self-destructive. I had hoped that Speedy would get over the fact that someone new could now visit with Red Mare, but it was not to be.
Speedy's infatuation with Red Mare quickly turned to obsession. He spent so much time frantically pacing that fence fence line that he carved out a trench over a foot deep. Reggie filled it in and packed it back down, but Speedy wasn't deterred. As soon as Reggie was finished, Speedy was back at it.
The gate, along with all of the perimeter fencing, is covered in no-climb wire to keep dogs, raccoons, and other wildlife out. The wire on Speedy's gate used to touch the ground, but with all of his frantic pacing, he has carved out a small section just big enough for me to slide my boot under. This is where he tore open his leg.
I do not know how he managed to get his leg under it enough to cut it how he did, but I do know that's how he cut at least the second leg. For now, Speedy is confined to his paddock. At 24 x 20, It's not small, but he could be living on a much larger piece of dirt.
Once Speedy's legs have both completely healed, we'll go back to our original formula. He'll be turned out only at night. That seemed to work the best. There's less movement by the other horses, and the ranch is quiet. Reggie also covered the rough edges at the bottom of the gate with a garden hose. It might look odd close up, but it was a clever fix. The hose was sliced lengthwise and then "sewn" to the bottom of the gate with the bailing twine. Speedy's not a pawer or chewer, so it should hold up well.
Speedy's become more and more relaxed back in his paddock - it was Willy's but we chose that one so he is closer to the rest of the horses. Over the past week, his face has lost its pinched, cranky look, and his eye is much softer.
I think he's relieved at not having to be The Boss. The truth is that Speedy is much more of a lover than a fighter, so this arrangement is suiting him just fine. Let's hope this more relaxed version of Speedy sticks around.
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%