From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy went to the vet hospital on Friday for his *vaccinations, which also gave Dr. Tolley a chance to see the wound without me having to schedule (and pay for) an extra trip to the vet. Before he looked at the wound though, we discussed Izzy's over-all health. While Dr. Tolley has seen Izzy a few times this year already, those visits were more about wound care rather than over-all care. I had some questions.
My first concern was Izzy's weight. As Izzy's activity level has increased, he has lost some weight. Both Dr. Tolley and I pegged him as a 4.5 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale, which is too thin. I like my horses to be closer to a 6. Dr. Tolley felt that Izzy could gain 150 pounds without anyone even kind of suggesting he was fleshy.
I had discussed increasing his hay ration a few times with my barn owner, but no real changes were made until this week. Dr. Tolley confirmed that Izzy should be getting at least twenty-five to thirty pounds of alfalfa a day. He also recommended three pounds of beet pulp mixed with another two pounds of rice bran, which I was already doing.
Dr. Tolley also put the weight tape on, but I forgot to get the reading - darn it! Rudy, BVH's handler, also pulled out a measuring stick to verify my initial measurement of 16'3 hands. Dr. Tolley read it at 16'3 and a quarter. Unfortunately, Izzy might still grow a bit. He'll be seven in May, but I know Arabs can grow until they're eight. I don't need a 17-hand horse, but Dr. Tolley told me to be prepared!
Once we had finished taking care of Izzy's weight, feeding changes, vaccinations, and other little issues (what's that divot in his neck from?), we moved on to his leg. Saturday marked the end of week 12, and the wound is almost healed. Even though it has taken a few weeks longer than Dr. Tolley originally predicted, it looks very good.
In fact, Dr. Tolley said it looked so good that I could quit wrapping it now if I wanted to. While that sounded great, I didn't want to just quit cold turkey. Instead, I asked if I could wrap it one more week with the little medicated pads (soaked in a saline solution) that we had tried a few months ago. Dr. Tolley felt that was a great compromise.
Before we left the hospital, I re-wrapped Izzy's leg as before, but instead of a telfa pad soaked in White Lotion, I substituted a medicated foam pad soaked with saline solution (to create a wet dressing). I have three foam pads left, one of which will be used today.
So that's where we stand: one more week of wrapping. There will probably be a tiny bit of open wound remaining however, so Dr. Tolley suggested I use Aluminum Bandage Spray. Heres the thing, he said I'll only need to use it once. Once? He felt that a one-time application should protect the wound for long enough for it to finish closing on its own.
Once the real bandages come off, Dr. Tolley did confirm that polo wraps would be a good idea for all turn out and riding as the new skin is delicate. He also said that in a year, I'll have to look very closely to find the scar. That was the best thing I've heard in a long time.
I'll have at least one more update, maybe two. Stay tuned!
* Eastern & Western Encephalitis, Tetnus, Flu/Rhino, Strangles (BVH's Core Vaccines)
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%: