From Endurance to Dressage
Things have been impossibly hectic, yet when when I take a moment to ponder what to write, I realize nothing is going on. Which is not the truth or else I'd have spent the past week binging on Netflix. I didn't, ergo, plenty is going on.
#1 Speedy's Blanket
Speedy has worn a blanket more days and nights in this past month than in all the 12 years I've owned him put together. Since moving to his new field, there's no shed or roof to stand under when it rains. There are plenty of trees, which are awesome for our 9 months of summer, but naked trees don't offer much protection from the rain. None of the other horses seem to mind, especially Izzy. There are mornings when steam is pouring off of him. Even in the 50s he stands there damp and sweaty.
Speedy's a bit of a hot house flower this past year or so. We think it has something to do with his Cushing's Disease. Although, with his thick coat, you'd think he'd handle the cold better. Nope. So, on the nights when it's goin to rain, he wears a blanket. I don't know if he sleeps better, but I sure do. I did find it interesting that on Saturday night, when he went without a blanket, he didn't lay down to sleep. It was cold, but very dry and calm. The night before, which was warmer but wet, he was blanketed and laid out flat as a pancake. I could tell by the mud that covered his face, neck, belly, and thigh.
We only average around 6 inches of rain a year so he doesn't need to be blanketed very often, but we're having a wetter than usual winter. I don't worry about Izzy (yet), but I have found that I am much happier when Speedy is blanketed.
#2 Another Abscess ...
Before you panic, it's not Speedy's or even Izzy's foot this time. Thank goodness. Instead, it's the TB mare who lives at the ranch (she's standing next to Speedy in the photo above). Hers popped up literally as she was being groomed. One minute she was fine, the next, she walked off lame. Ten minutes after that she stood in a pen pointing her toe like a bird dog. The vet came out and tried to work on her, but she was in so much pain, he had to sedate her. He poulticed her hoof and directed the ranch owner to give it 48 hours and then see where she was.
By Sunday, she was much sounder and bearing weight. Since I am now the resident abscess expert, I pulled the old poultice off and got to work with my hoof testers and trusty knife. It looked as though the abscess had migrated from the bar to near the toe. I dug out some sole, particularly along the whiteline, and then repacked it with a Numotizine poultice. We'll have another look at it tomorrow, and then the farrier is scheduled to come on Wednesday. Since she was already much happier on Sunday, it looks like she'll heal quickly.
#3 San Fransisco
We went to San Fransisco a week or so ago, but I never got around to sharing. We did all of the things that were on our list, but then we managed to squeeze in a few extra things, one of which was the Legion of Honor, a fine arts museum. The collection includes some fabulous pieces by artists you would actually recognize.
While those works were quite fascinating, two others caught my eye because they were equine related. The first was the sculpture pictured above. I can't remember who the sculptor is, but what I liked was the draped rein. Yes, the horse's mouth is gaping, but his ears are pricked, and he looks to be in self-carriage.
Another piece that caught my eye was this painting. What's not to love? He's bridle-less for one thing, he has a mane and tail to die for, and he looks as though his canter pirouette is right there, waiting to be asked for.
#4 The Double Bridle
Speedy's not much of a talker, but since he hasn't chimed in, I'll speak for both of us when I say, LOVE IT! Don't get me wrong, we're still struggling with the half passes, damn those things, but I am finding that we are communicating better than ever. The double has given me a whole new feel. I can get him softer so much quicker, and I am finding it MUCH easier to push him from behind up to my hand.
With just a snaffle, adding leg often just had the effect of driving him onto his forehand. Now, I can ask him to come through from behind while LIFTING. It also helped that Chemaine did the "follow me with the whip" lesson. That helped both of us understand that he could drop his croup without launching forward. And finally ...
This is a horse blog and not a fashion or design blog which means you're not here for design tips. That's good because I don't have any. On the other hand, I can tell you a lot about garage doors. We've replaced at least four of them over the past 25 years.
Not too long ago, my garage door opener malfunctioned, lifting the door just high enough so that when looking out my rearview mirror, it appeared as though it had gone up as usual. It hadn't, and when I backed up, it scraped the roof of my car, ripping off my antenna and causing quite a lot of damage to my roof which had to be repaired and then repainted.
Much to my husband's relief, the garage door seemed okay. Last month it finally fell off the cable though and became inoperable. There must have been more damage than we originally thought. Fast forward to last week. After waiting for nearly two months for the door to be built and delivered, we finally have a brand new door that looks 10 bazillion times better than the old one. We've hated that peach door since we moved in, so maybe I hit it on purpose.
I did not hit it on purpose, but if I had known how much better a new door was going to look, I would have. This door was fun to pick out because I got to select not just the window design, but the color and the hardware (which you can't really see, but it includes the handles and the "hinges"). My design tip would be to spend the extra money on a custom door. It looks so much better.
I can only hope that this week is less hectic than last week was. I need a break!
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%: