From Endurance to Dressage
It Is What It Is.
Over the last few months, those words have become my mantra. I don't like to focus on the difficulties of life as they are never-ending. Instead, I like to look from each good thing to the next. After all, those are the things in life that bring us joy and a sense of well-being.
With that being said, holy hell! We are having a string of particularly stinky life experiences. I am not sure where they started, but for me, the list goes back to the contractor we hired this past summer...
He never finished the job, so we recently sued him in small claims court. We won our case, but guess what? The state of California doesn't have a way to force the defendant to pay up, so we're out of luck as far as getting our money back. It is what it is.
In the fall, I reached my limit with Sydney. After three years of hard work, including MANY lessons with five trainers, I had to admit that the relationship was over. And even though I could have used the money from selling him to help me get another horse, I opted to give him away. Little did I know how tight my finances would get over the next few months. It is what it is.
In November, I bought a new horse, Izzy. Wanting the best start for him, I shipped him off to a nearby trainer where he ended up with a rather large laceration on his leg that will take months to heal. Fortunately, it's doing quite well, but the money I spent (wasted?) on the "training" and the cost of caring for the wound have definitely left me feeling pretty broke. And yet again, it is what it is.
That's all old news. Believe it not, there's more. For the past few months we've noticed a wet spot on the garage floor. We searched for a leak, but no water was coming from either the hot water heater or the washing machine. Fortunately, my husband noticed some weird staining on the outside wall. After closer inspection, we discovered that the water was leaking inside the wall.
My husband called the plumber who declared the price to fix it would either be $350 or $1,350, depending on how much work would be involved. I'll take door number one please. Guess again. Do you hear the sound of a giant buzzer? That's for me, so say it with me, It is what it is.
All of that is just life. Money comes in and goes out, just like the tide. Life continues on, and we make the best of it. But then, one more thing landed on my plate. Out of nowhere, Speedy is again lame on the right front. I don't need a vet to diagnosis it; it's the same injury he suffered last January. I spent one whole day on the verge of tears, frustrated beyond all belief that yet again, my move to First Level was being thwarted.
I know he healed completely the first time. He had three months of hand walking and slow rehab. After my vet cleared him to get back to work, he had a very busy show season without a single moment of lameness. In fact, after the first three weeks of trying to diagnosis him last year, he never took another lame step until this week.
I don't feel that the injury didn't heal. I am certain that he has just re-tweaked it in the exact same way he did the first time - pacing and whirling in his paddock. The type of collateral ligament injury that he sustained before (deep in the hoof capsule) is often a result of twisting. He was perfectly sound one day, and the next day he was lame at the walk. And as before, there is no heat, no swelling, no laceration ... just a walk that looks stiff and painful.
I've had to work really hard to shift gears. I had to call and drop out of the Christian Schacht clinic that was happening at the end of the month, and the two shows planned for March are definitely out. I'm just going to take this one day at a time. We'll go back to hand walking. He is sound again at the walk, so I'll start the rehab process again. Until then, I have Izzy to school and Austin and my barn owner's horse to ride.
It is what it is.
2/16/2015 10:05:16 pm
The last few months for me have been crappy as well. Lots of vet bills, lots of home ownership bills, lots of work, and less riding. I know there are people who only ride a few days a week, but I miss my daily rides and I miss riding my mammoth chestnut. P is awesome to ride and I'm SO glad he is doing so well at his age, but it still sucks having Stampede out of commission for one issue after another. :(
2/17/2015 10:36:34 am
My two favorite things to tell myself are "it is what is," and "this two shall pass." I find that every single crappy thing opens the door to something new and wonderful. Last year, when Speedy was lame, we ended up having our most successful showing year to do date. We actually made it to the California Dressage Society Championship show. It was HUGE. I am not sure I would have made it had I not spent so much time riding bareback and stirrupless as he recovered.
2/18/2015 12:00:41 am
Thanks for the ideas for having a positive outlook. I'm hoping Stampede comes back and this break ends up being a positive change for his back issues (rehab we were doing before this hoof problem was not going well IMO). I've already started to form a rehab plan in my mind, but the thought that he could still end up retired (for back issues) after I put in all this work is disheartening. I guess I need to remember that he would not be the one dissapointed to live in my backyard!
2/17/2015 10:37:53 am
It does sound like a lot, but honestly, I am just motoring through. I didn't mean for my post to sound so gloomy. I really just wanted to share that we all have crappy days (or months!). But thank you. :0)
2/17/2015 10:38:28 am
It's all good. Without the bumps in the road, we can't appreciate the smooth sailing. :0)
2/16/2015 11:13:17 pm
You and Wendy Malek......:-(
2/17/2015 10:39:43 am
Things do appear a bit wonky right now, but the fabulous always reveals itself right after. I got on Izzy bareback and let him walk around his pen. How awesome is that?!
2/17/2015 10:40:08 am
That's EXACTLY what I think. :0)
2/17/2015 12:33:00 am
I feel your pain, Karen. For what it's worth, on your contractor issue, you can always file a lean on his assets, like his home. While you won't get anything immediately, it will be impossible for him to refinance or sell with a lean. As for your ponies, we've all been there. We should hold a Pity Party and all bring our sob stories relating to our horses. But we survived to see another day. Hang in there.
2/18/2015 08:13:14 am
We're working on the contractor issue (one of the attorneys for the company my husband works for is giving us ideas, but the dude doesn't have any assets!).
2/18/2015 08:13:47 am
Right back at you, girlfriend! :0)
I'm so, so, sorry. If it helps, I'm continually impressed and inspired by your patience and grace when it comes to things like this. When my mare was lame last year and needed a lot of hand walking/walking under saddle, I was inspired by all the walking work you had accomplished with Speedy as you brought him back, and managed to accomplish a lot as she slowly recovered.
2/17/2015 10:32:56 am
It is remarkably humbling to hear that anything I've written or done has served as an inspiration. That is so kind of you to say, Annye. I hope your mare is back to work and that your relationship was able to grow stronger because of those walks. I think hand walking provides a level of intimacy that we can't get just by riding.
2/17/2015 02:26:47 am
I'm sorry! That's frustrating and sometimes it does take a little bit for us to mentally come to grips with a change of plans like that.
2/18/2015 08:15:29 am
Thanks! I didn't mean to make things seem so dreary. :0) I am really okay with it all, but every once in a while, it's nice to get a break. You know, like hitting all green lights or finding a 5 spot in your pants pockets. I could use one of those days right about now, but I'd sure like it be a 20! :0)
2/17/2015 04:43:12 am
Oh man, that's quite a run! I really hope everything starts looking up SOON!
2/18/2015 08:23:01 am
Thanks, Jen - it already is. :0)
2/18/2015 08:27:42 am
Thanks. I am definitely a glass half full kind of girl. I remind myself daily that things always work out in the end. If they haven't worked out, then it's not the end. :0)
2/18/2015 08:29:45 am
Thanks for the kind words. It has been a lot, but fortunately I have a really good partner in my husband, and we're both pretty positive people. Before I know it, things will be rolling right along. In fact, it's already happening. :0)
I'm sorry you're having so much trouble! It seems winter is the time for "when it rains, it pours!" Let me know if you find someone who wants to give away some money - Mikey was hospitalized for a week, had surgery, stem cell treatment, and during that time I lost my truck brakes and had to replace them all, then he'll have APS treatment, plus legend and adequan and like $18 dollars worth of bandages being changed every other day and $$$$... Maybe we should buy umbrellas? Will that help?
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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%: