From Endurance to Dressage
It started on Monday during our ride. At the trot, Speedy started coughing. I chalked it up to the dust-cough he gets when he's been stirring up the footing in his pen. When it didn't stop after his regular two or three clear the pipes efforts, I decided to call it a day. I untacked and saw some pretty thick globs of mucous plopping out of his nostrils. Hmmm ... not good. I took his temperture and was relieved that it came back at a nice and healthy 100.3
Just to be safe, on Tuesday I simply turned him out to see what he felt like doing. After milling about for a few minutes, he let fly a couple of acrobatic cork scew bucks in the middle of his run-for-fun galloping. I haltered him up and was relieved that there was no more sticky snot and I hadn't heard a single cough. Looking good!
I took him to his lesson on Wednesday even though one pretty big glob of snot rolled out of his nose as I bridled him. As soon as I asked for the trot, he gave a couple of wet of coughs. I immediately pulled him to a halt, hopped off, and let JL know that I would return shortly with horse number 2.
When I got to the barn on Thursday, his nose was definitely snotty, but he seemed relatively perky. Not his normal self, but I reasoned that the bug had definitely settled in. I rode Sydney, cleaned up, and headed to my car. I looked back at Speedy G and just had a feeling that there was a bit more. I dropped my bag on a chair and hunted out my discarded thermometer from Monday's last check. It soared to 103.7 immediately. Crap. I got out my phone and hit Dr. Blanton's number. I'll say it again, I love my vet!
Dr. B was at the barn in less than 30 minutes. Her slightly more professional thermometer got his temperature at 103.9, not so wildly different from my Target cheapo, but definitely much higher than is good. She confirmed that his other metabolic parameters were good, well-hydrated with gut sounds, but clocked his pulse and respiration in the low 40s. He looked pretty depressed by the time she arrived so I wasn't surprised to hear his heart rate was elevated. I could see it in his expression.
Dr. B pulled blood for a full CBC/chem panel and then gave him a shot of Banamine to ease his discomfort and two broad spectrum antibiotics. Until we know whether it is viral or bacterial, we won't know with which specific antibiotic to continue. It was decided that he would be better at the vet hospital so that they could administer twice-a-day antibiotics and continue treatment as needed.
I give my own IM shots, and I am not wealthy, but with my very early a.m. departure for work and my concern that Speedy receive the best care possible, I opted for the hospital stay. Trying to beat the dark, I quickly hooked up my trailer and prepared for the drive across town.
It says a lot when you already know the gate combination to access the hospital's yard and even more when your vet has confidence in your ability to check your horse in unassisted. I loaded Speedy G into the trailer while Dr. B finished treating the neighbor's horse for an unrelated issue. I pulled out at 6:50 just as darkness fell. The drive across town was uneventful and I delivered Speedy G to his stall at the hospital. Dr. B started texting before I even had the gate open. She wanted to know if we had settled in okay. I just love my vet!
When she gets to the hospital today, Dr. will run his blood work and see how he's doing. Depending on her diagnosis, she'll decide the next treatment course. Since he's already there and waiting, he won't have to wait until I get home from work for whatever he needs to feel better quickly.
Please wish Speedy G a speedy recovery! I'll keep you posted.
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%: