From Endurance to Dressage
One Last Thing
I swear I have posts written about Speedy's First Level debut, but yet again Sydney is getting more than his fair show of "air time."
I am just overwhelmed by the many, many positive comments you all have made about my decision to let Sydney go. I wanted to share a few things about that with you.
The day I made the decision to part ways with the big, brown OTTB, I told only my husband. Next, I told my barn owner and shortly after that my trainer. I didn't share on Facebook, and I didn't blog about it until the deed was done.
Over the weekend, I also shared the news with Sarah (Eventing in Color) because I knew she wouldn't gossip about my decision and her feedback would be honest.
I told her that I was dreading having to blog about it because I was certain I was going to get a lot of negative backlash. There are many people who delight in saying I told you so. I also assumed that the comments on my post (assuming there were any) would include the many ways I had failed Sydney and how if I only had done this or that he would have enjoyed his job.
In a nut shell, I projected my own feelings of inadequacy and failure onto you all. I think I owe you all an apology. Out of twenty comments on the blog and numerous comments on Facebook, not one single person offered anything but hugs and best wishes. Wow. Just … wow. Thank you all for that.
I didn't sell Sydney; he was donated to New Hope Equine, a non-profit. Here is a snippet from their website:
Debbie Davis owns and operates Sport Equine Training Center and is a founding board member of New Hope Equine a non-profit 501(C)3 Corporation and has been actively involved in rescue work and helping unwanted horses and their owners for almost 2 decades in central CA. With a true heart for unwanted/unused horses, Debbie reaches out to assist owners in need and receives horses of all kinds across the country that meet her soundness criteria for varying levels of training and use. She believes most horses are happiest and healthiest serving a purpose in accordance to suitability.
Sydney certainly wasn't unwanted or unused, but I worried about finding a suitable owner for him on my own. He is not a beginner's horse and intermediate or advanced riders are usually looking for a horse who is already going well in their job or for one who is young and green and can be brought into the work correctly. Sydney just didn't meet any of that criteria.
Money was never a factor. Not that I am rich or anything, but having him be placed appropriately was far more import than getting a couple of thousand bucks for him. Debbie and her assistant will evaluate him, school him as needed, and show him to potential riders who have been carefully screened. I feel enormous relief that I don't have the burden of screening his next owner. Debbie will do a good job.
Back to Speedy. Oh, boy. He is taking Sydney's departure much harder than I thought he would. When I pulled into the barn, he started pacing and whinnying for his friend which I knew would happen. When I didn't open the trailer door however, Speedy became quite upset, mostly with me.
Since he was already throwing a fit in his little run, I thought it would be a good idea to turn him out and let him run off his anxiety. That always helps him. I put front boots on and added bell boots; he tends to whack himself when he runs hard.
After a quick roll, Speedy took off at a tremendous gallop, screaming the entire time. He ran and ran and ran, all the while keeping his eye on the trailer. When it looked as though he had run out of juice. I went into the arena with him and walked around. He loves to follow me while I scratch his back and face. We then went out onto the lawn and hand grazed for a while.
By the time I put him back to bed, he was feeling much better and was eating and looking well.
I saddled him up as usual the next day, Wednesday, and began with some walk to halt transitions. He felt great. As soon as I asked for the trot however, I felt a definite hitch in his giddy-up. He was lame behind. I got off and did a trot in hand to confirm.
I am pretty sure he just over did things in turn out, so I actually did a walking ride around the neighborhood. He walked out big and easy, and was only lame when I asked for the trot. There is no heat or swelling which leads me to believe it's just a muscle strain.
I have an appointment this afternoon so I won't get to the barn today, which is a good thing for Speedy. He'll get another day of rest. Hopefully he'll work out of whatever this is by the weekend. And truly, I am not worried about it. He was perfectly sound for his lesson on Monday.
This is just what happens when you get rid of your back up horse! Onward and forward.
11/13/2014 01:55:41 am
One of the harder things to do is to "break up" with a relationship that just is not working. It is much better for both parties, however, to agree that it isn't working out and the fact you put so much thought into helping him find the perfect home shows you did care and that should speak volumes to you. You weren't looking for an "easy out", you were looking out for him even as you realized he wasn't for you. You deserve applause for yourself.
So, I'm way behind on comments, but I saw your post about Sydney on Facebook last night. I'm really, really sorry he didn't work out -- I know how hard you worked and how BADLY you wanted it. But it takes an incredibly strong horsewoman [and person in general!] to do what you've done.
11/13/2014 02:13:17 am
First, I applaud you, for everything you have done for Sidney. It truly is hard to part with any animal for whatever reason. Their future can be such a unknown. But you have truly done your best to place him in the best possible situation. Kudos to you!
11/13/2014 02:29:00 am
I just really admire you for having the guts to be so honest about the situation on a blog. I think many of us have been through similar situations and it is hard. The situation is hard, and having to tell others is also very difficult. I would have done the same thing. Best wishes to Sydney, and looking forward to your new adventures with Speedy and a new horse if that time comes. :)
sorry Speedy ran himself a little ragged - hope it clears up soon!
11/13/2014 06:15:58 am
I know that you wanted it to work with Sydney. I think you exhausted pretty much every option and demonstrated great patience. I like the description of the place where you sent him. He is a very lucky horse to have been with you and now to be in a safe haven until he finds a new purpose.
11/13/2014 10:00:14 am
I had a horse that tried to buck me off nearly every time we cantered. The third time he bucked me off I realized I hated riding him. He's now with a family that adores him, and does a good job toting them around on trail rides. He doesn't have to canter and everyone is happy.
11/13/2014 10:12:23 am
I'm proud of you Karen!
11/13/2014 01:00:59 pm
Just getting caught up and wanted to offer my condolences about Sydney. Even if it's the right decision, it's not an easy decision. I went back to your horse pages and read how you found him and his "story" and I sincerely hope that he finds a fulfilling career that he wants to do and I'm so proud of you.
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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)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: