From Endurance to Dressage
Uh-oh. Speedy has a boy problem that has me quite concerned. Sometime in the spring, I cleaned both boys' sheaths. They're really good about me doing them, and I am not squeamish.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that Speedy wasn't dropping all of the way to urinate, so I've kept my eye on things. Over the weekend, I realized that I needed to do more than keep on eye on things when I saw his urine spray out like water from a clamped off hose.
If you've never seen male horse urinate, it shouldn't look anything like what comes from a pressurized hose. I grabbed some Excalibur Sheath Cleaner and a bucket of water. I carefully worked my hand and arm up into his sheath, scrubbing gently as I went.
If you've never cleaned a horse's sheath, I'll spare you the worst of the details, but it's rather funky up in there. The only way to describe what comes out is shmegma - clumps of black gunk.
This next part is not safe for kids. Little by little I was able to work my hand up to Speedy's actual penis, tucked up like a turtle in its shell. As gently as I could, I poked around his man parts until I could feel his urethra. It was quite swollen and crusty. It is not supposed to be crusty. In fact, the little tube should be very soft and squishy. Speedy's is not.
I gently picked away at it removing the blockage as best I could. Normally, when a gelding gets a "bean," it will be gray in color and almost feel like clay or wax. The junk that Speedy has in his urethra is hard and feels like compacted hay and dirt. I was able to remove a good portion of it, but without getting the penis to drop, it's really hard to see how bad the problem actually is.
Yesterday, I repeated the cleaning, hoping that things might have softened up overnight. They did not. I was able to get the inside of his sheath very clean, but the urethra is definitely still clogged. Speedy always pees when I bring out his bucket of feed, so I made sure to time the arrival of the bucket for a time when I could closely watch him pee. To say it is a Pavlovian response would be very correct.
Speedy trusts me, so as he was peeing - oh my gosh this is so gross, I reached over and grabbed his penis to see what the urethra looked like as he urinated. Not good was the answer. He doesn't seem like he's in any pain, but things are definitely not right "down there."
I will be calling Dr. Tolley today for some advice. Does Speedy need to go in? Should I just continue trying to soften and clean it? I'll let you know what he says.
Boys and their junk.
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%: