From Endurance to Dressage
I know I've talked a lot about poop lately, and I promise this should be the last post for at least a few weeks on that topic (oh, Lord, let it be longer), but I do have some final (for now) thoughts. My one big take away from this recent round of tummy trouble is that one size does not fit all horses. I am not just talking about gastric supplements either.
If you've been reading for any length of time at all (thank you by the way), you'll know that I do my best to be honest. I don't sugar coat things, but I am a silver lining, glass half full kind of gal which means I tend to look for the positives in even the worst of situations. While I don't have all of the answers, I do share my opinions, especially when it comes to equine health care. Which is why I've been talking about poop.
When I finally saw that Izzy's tummy troubles needed a new solution and found the GastroElm, I pledged to give it to him every day for the rest of his life. That strategy ultimately backfired when the product turned out to be too much of a good thing. It also reaffirmed for me that there is no singularly correct way to care for our equine family members.
You've read all the articles: No Blanket Ever, Blanket All the Time. Barefoot is Best, Shod Hooves for Working Horses. No Injections, All of the injections. And on and on and on. Given how politically divided Americans are these days, it's no surprise that we apply the my way is the only way mentality to caring for a living creature.
I've had horses for 40 years, and in all that time I have learned that there is no one right way to do things. There is no one right way to do things for the same horse. One month Izzy needs GastroElm, and the next he doesn't. Izzy has shoes on the front, but he's barefoot in the back. Blanketing him only happens when there is a perfect storm of wind, rain, and low temperatures, all of which almost never happen at the same time where we live.
I may offer advice - usually only if asked, but it tends be of the well, one thing that has worked for me is ... type. Your milage may vary; I know mine sure does. With horses, my solution doesn't preclude yours from also being right. We all have so much good experience - some of it learned the hard way, that it seems a shame to disregard an idea just because it's not how you've always done it. If you think one size fits all, get a horse.
Am I right, or am I right?
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%: