From Endurance to Dressage
Rest assured, I am mostly over Monday's pity party even though no one brought money. Freeloaders! Just kidding ... But seriously, a person can only take so much, you know? In any case, the vet visit was actually really interesting. There are some serious perks to using the same vet for several decades. Dr. Tolley and I have gotten to know one another quite well, and as a result, we've developed a very solid relationship that ensures that my horses are getting exceptional care. Mostly because I am bossy and nosy, and he has learned to live with it.
Izzy was actually treated after Speedy, but that story is a bit complicated to write, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Izzy got the standard walk around and kick the tires: Dr. Tolley looked at Izzy's sarcoid scar; the other one has completely disappeared. After we re-treated the first one with cryotherapy, it created an immune response that healed that one and then the second one. We were both pleased by that. Dr. Tolley also gave Izzy's hind leg scar a peek, but with nothing to see, he moved on to Izzy's teeth.
Izzy has never been easy to bridle. At first, it was just I am really tall, so I am going to lift my head as I high as I can. Good luck to you, puny human. Once he learned the rule about lowering his head, the bridling problems were due to a hatred of a variety of bits. Over time, all of that sorted itself out ... until fairly recently.
I was having a lot of trouble getting him to open his mouth far enough for me to get the bit in and clear all of his teeth. I eventually pin-pointed the issue - his upper canine teeth were getting in the way. Once I discovered what the hold up was, and I mean that literally, I've been able to lift the bit over the canines which has made Izzy much happier.
I explained all of this to Dr. Tolley who listened carefully. Remember that relationship I talked about? This is where it comes in handy. If I say I am having an issue, he knows that it is a legitimate concern. As soon as he opened Izzy's mouth, he agreed that those canine teeth were indeed too long and needed to come down.
This is not Izzy's mouth, but it illustrates exactly what Dr. Tolley did, but only to the upper canines. The bottoms were fine. If you're as geeked out by equine teeth as I am, check out the page from where I grabbed the photo. It offers a concise explanation as to why shortening the canine teeth can aid the horse. In fact, a week or so ago, while I was riding him, Izzy cut his tongue exactly where those upper canine teeth reside.
The whole dental exam and shortening of the canines took only a few minutes. After that, Dr. Tolley gave Izzy his vaccinations. For those that are interested in what we give here in California's Central Valley, the vaccines come grouped in two syringes. The first contains the vaccines for West Nile Virus, Eastern/Western Encephalomyelitis, and Tetanus. The second syringe contains the Rhino and Flu vaccines.
As we walked Izzy over to a holding pen so that he could wake up, we passed by Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital's new-to-them scale. I forgot to grab a photo of it, but it looks really similar to a wooden bridge you'd see in a trail class. I have only one other time been able to weigh my horse, and it was at an endurance ride in which my mare was part of a study. Having one that we can use for every visit is super cool.
Izzy stepped right up on it without batting an eye; an afternoon cocktail does that to you. He weighed in at a whopping 1,350 pounds! Speedy was a bit lighter, thank goodness, but I'll share that tomorrow.
Of course, once we got home I saw that Izzy had stepped on that shoe, but you already knew that. As I was pulling out, I told Dr. Tolley that I love working with him, but I hope we don't have to see him for a very long time. He chuckled and wished for the same.
You gotta love your vet!
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%: