From Endurance to Dressage
Alright. This should be my last update on Izzy's leg. It seems to have healed over completely although if you look really closely at the center of the wound, you can see a tiny area that has a scab that should probably be picked off. I am done with scab picking though, so it can just dry up and fall off on its own.
There is zero swelling anymore and he's sound as a dollar (and has been since day one). Now all that's left is for the scar to shrink and fade away. Many of you have recommended a variety of oils or treatments to help reduce the scar, but I've hesitated until I was certain that the wound was closed completely. As of the end of August, I feel confident that this puppy is done.
This has been a very long process, all of which started with a phone call on January 6, 2015. I first saw the laceration on January 10th wherein I immediately placed a call to my fabulous vet, Dr. John Tolley of Bakersfield Vet Hospital. When he saw the wound, he shook his head in disgust at the treatment vet's care and later diagnosis. The treatment vet claimed it would heal in ten days. This has been the longest "ten days" in the history of the world!
Over the past eight months, I regularly photographed the healing process. For the first five or six months, I took a photograph each time I re-wrapped the wound, which was every other day for four months. Let's just say that I have a lot of photos! In the early months the wound showed rapid changes from one week to the next. Here's an example.
Towards the end of the healing process, the skin took much longer to knit together, or epithelialize. I was slower to take photos during that period as the changes were almost impossible to see.
In early April, the wound looked nearly closed, and my vet gave the okay to remove the pressure bandage. That night, the leg swelled up enormously, tearing the skin open which set us on a course of frustration. Each time I removed the bandage for a day or two, the leg would re-swell, tearing open the wound again.
Throughout the summer, I began reducing the size of the bandage and eliminated much of the padding while also wrapping it looser and looser. Eventually, the bandage put about as much pressure on the leg as a sock. I then weaned the leg of even that bit of pressure by removing the bandage for several hours a day. Eventually I was able to wrap for 24 hours and then leave the bandage off for 24 hours.
Ultimately, I removed the bandage completely and let the leg's circulatory system struggle to re-establish its equilibrium, much to Izzy's and my relief. That was in early August. I continue to pick at it now and then, but like I said earlier, I am kind of over the scab-picking thing. Now, I use a jelly scrubber on it each day to remove any dead pieces of skin or loose scabs. He's not sensitive to the touch, and the skin is thick and hard. At this stage, the skin is tough enough that I don't even use polos or leg wraps anymore when I ride.
Over the past eight months, I've been adding photos to a slide show. It's just over three minutes long and includes a remake of Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," sung by Josh Turner. The first dozen photos are a bit graphic, so if you're squeamish, peek through your fingers for those.
And with that, here's a time lapsed video of Izzy's leg laceration from start to finish.
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%: