From Endurance to Dressage
Not One Abscess, But Two
Be careful what you wish for. The other day, I was hopeful that Izzy's overly dramatic lameness was due to an abscess. I was right, of course - abscesses are fairly easy to spot, but it turns out that I have two with which to contend. His, and someone else's.
When someone else's abscess didn't improve, I made an appointment with Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital (BLA) and decided Izzy might as well go along for the ride. Before loading both horses, I gave Izzy one final check. I walked him up to the arena for some lunging and was happy to note that he was sound in both directions at all three gaits.
I pondered whether I should still take him, but then decided an off property trip would do him good, and a final "all clear" from the vet would relieve any lingering doubts.
Just a quick aside for local folks: Dr. Pipkin retired this past spring, and the remaining crew from Bakersfield Vet Hospital's large animal practice bought out her practice (clients included) and moved into her facility. Doctors Tolley and Gonzalez, along with practice manager Kathryn Kelly, have since incorporated and now own Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital located on Taft Highway. This was my first trip to BLA.
Izzy's examine went pretty quickly. I showed Dr. Gonzalez my calendar and briefly gave him a rundown of how Izzy's abscess had manifested and progressed: overnight ballooning of the fetlock, acute pain in the toe accompanied by daily improvement, with no visible drainage hole. Dr. G had Rudy take Izzy for a walk away and trot back to which he remarked, "fancy mover!" Yeah, what girl's heart doesn't do a pitter patter with that comment?
Then came a lunge to the left. Izzy was sound. To the right, not so much. It was easy to see, but Dr. G still only gave it a 1 out of 5 on the lameness scale. On soft ground, Izzy was sound. Then came the hoof testers.
No matter how hard he tried, Dr. G just couldn't find "the spot." Izzy wasn't completely pain free though; he was a bit sensitive around the toe area, but there wasn't a holy cow, that hurts! type of reaction. Even so, Dr. G started paring away at Izzy's sole trying to find that little bit of mis-colored sole indicating the location of the abscess.
Eventually, he decided to leave it alone as he didn't want to dig a big hole for nothing. After much back and forth, we decided to just leave it alone and see what happens. He agreed that riding would be a good idea as pressure on the frog increases circulation which might move the abscess out and away. Of course, if Izzy comes up lame, I can poultice it with Numotizene to help draw out the abscess. In either case, my farrier will be out in three weeks, so he'll have a chance to find what's left to be found.
And then someone else's foot was up. Check back tomorrow for that one.
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%: