From Endurance to Dressage
I've got a bunch of little things to share that aren't enough to warrant their own blog posts, so I present 5 mini posts:
Speedy's eye has healed up quite nicely, although it took longer for the swelling to go down than I had thought it would. In all, it took almost two weeks to heal up completely. This photo was taken one week after he had banged it on something. I had just picked off the scab, but the swelling was almost entirely gone.
Izzy's wound is doing really great. After several applications of New Skin covered with two layers of loosely wrapped Vet Wrap, he is now going sans wrap. That wasn't my plan yet, but one day last week I forgot to wrap it when I left for the day.
I had been taking the bandage off when I arrived so that his leg would have several hours with no bandage. This was all done in an effort to reteach the leg's circulatory system to function without the pressure of a bandage. The last few times that I've removed the bandage too soon, the leg has filled, cracking the skin back open.
I am happy to report that when I showed up the next morning, the leg was clean and tight with no filling. I will admit that my heart skipped a few beats when I first saw it unwrapped, but apparently, the time was right.
I know it looks a bit fugly right now, but that's just the New Skin you're seeing. It looks and smells exactly like clear nail polish, and it's super sticky. I am not sure how long it takes to wear off, but I've pretty much left it alone other than running a brush over it to knock off any flaking skin or dried on "stuff." We might finally be getting to the end ...
Since I wrote this ... Izzy scraped the wound, but it's just minor. Sheesh!
I detest dealing with my horses' manes. Tails I can do, manes I hate. Izzy's mane is particularly unruly because it won't stay on one side, and it's really thick. I hate pulling, and I don't think he's a fan of it either. I used the scissors.
Yes, I can see that it looks like crap, but I don't care. At least it's half as short as it was. Judge me if you'd like, but then come over and fix it. I like the taste of humble pie, and I'll even pay you to serve it up.
I am not sure if you've heard the news, but it has started raining in California! It rained "so much" that I opted NOT to ride in the arena on Tuesday. It probably would have been okay, but it was an "Izzy Day" which means that things could have gotten wild and crazy, and I didn't want to tear up the footing.
It rained the night I dismantled my dressage court, but since it has been so dry, the footing was actually perfect the next day. I rode both horses and found that riding without the dressage court in place might be a good thing for a while.
With Izzy, I had a lot more room to "fix" the canter before running into the fence. It's also easier for him to canter a 30-meter circle and then spiral down to 20-meters and even 15-meters. The same is true for Speedy. With so much room, I can leg yield as long as I need to before I feel it's good enough to change the bend and go the other way.
Normally, I can only water the area that is my dressage court, but since the rain is doing the whole space, I can now ride anywhere I want, dust free. It will also keep the footing from getting tore up by riding in a larger space.
Come on El Niño - let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!
It's been at least a month since Izzy has been ridden out of the arena. Since the footing was questionable on Tuesday, I opted for a neighborhood hack. He was so good, mostly. The first obstacle is that little hill with the puddle in front of it that has given us trouble - no problem. And the puddle was even gigantic thanks to the rain.
He stepped into it without even hesitating. Once he was was in, he stopped, looked down, looked around, and then climbed up the hill without another thought.
The second real obstacle is passing by our barn. Nothing. He stopped to poop (very loosely), but then he walked on. Most days I have to get after him with the whip. Nope.
The third obstacle is the stretch of dirt road behind Laurel's property. This was the only place he got naughty. He jigged, flung his head. danced, pranced, and basically acted like an idiot. I just kept changing the bend and pushing him up to the contact. I thought passage the whole time. Not that he did, but if he wanted to be a jerk, I figured he could work hard.
Once we turned the corner, the tension started leaking out, and he relaxed much sooner than he usually does. I was so pleased with how much progress he has made over the past couple of months.
So much is in the little things, isn't it? If I wait around for BIG changes, I'll always be disappointed. It's important to be grateful for all of the little battles we win.
My Five Things - small on their own, but put together, they show definite progress!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%