From Endurance to Dressage
Between the fireworks on the 4th and the continuing earthquakes, Speedy's last couple of days have been rather rough. He's okay, but he is definitely getting a few days off to recover.
If we're friends on Facebook, you already saw the machinations and launch of Operation Bubble Wrap (OBW). The 4th of July kind of sucks if you own horses and dogs. Everyone is okay - mostly, but it was a stressful holiday for team Speedy.
Speedy does not like the 4th of July. He does not like barbecues. He's also not too fond of New Year's Eve. Basically, he's a big party pooper.
Early last week, the ranch owner and I discussed how to get Speedy safely through the 4th of July holiday. We all know what he can do to himself on a day without explosions and flashing lights. The first thing that we always do when the activity level exceeds his threshold of acceptance is to restrict his movement.
Speedy lives in a large paddock during the day, but at night his gate is opened to allow him turnout when things are quiet and not likely to press his over-react button. When anything unusual happens, like when the neighbors throw a party, he gets locked in at night. I've found that while he's protesting the noise by hurtling his body through space, he can't pick up as much steam in his paddock.
Given that limiting his space to run wild hasn't eliminated his ability to rip himself to shreds, I decided to cover as much of his body as possible. On July 3rd, many people start their fireworks display, so I did a dress rehearsal. I wrapped only his front legs hoping that he would leave the bandages alone. I didn't want to do all four legs at once in case he freaked out because of leg wraps.
Then I started covering the rest of his body. He got his regular fly mask, and I covered him with a fly sheet that I had tried a few years ago. The first time he wore the flysheet HE. HATED. IT. which is why I never used it again. For this go-round, he acted as though he wears a flysheet daily. Win-win I figured.
I left him on July 3rd with my fingers crossed that Operation Bubble Wrap would work. To my surprise, everything was still in place on the 4th. The sheet was undamaged, the wraps were snug and clean, and the bell boots were firmly velcroed.
I took everything off, gave him a good grooming - he was ITCHY, and then rode him long enough to get him good and tired. I figured it couldn't hurt to wear him out a little. That alone can minimize his desire to run wildly. I gave him a bath, turned him out in the yard to graze while he dried, and then I reapplied everything, including the bell boots and wraps on his hind legs. Operation Bubble Wrap was launched, and I all could do was wait and see if it kept him safe.
To be continued ...
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%