From Endurance to Dressage
I left the barn at 11:00 p.m. Friday night, only to roll back in at 7:30 a.m. the next morning. I hadn't received a text from the ranch owner so I knew that nothing was wrong, but I needed to check Speedy myself. At first glance, he looked relaxed, if a bit thin.
I left him to his breakfast and saddled up Izzy. Even he was a bit distracted by Speedy being in Pixie and Archie's dry lot. There was a fair amount of hollering at first, but eventually all of the horses settled down when they realized we were just going to the arena and no further.
After riding Izzy, I pulled Speedy out for a good going over making sure I hadn't missed anything. The night before, I had hosed him off, but it was too dark to see anything other than a gaping wound (of which he didn't have). In the light of day, I noticed that his pasterns looked crusty and scabby.
I now know why he was so sore the day before. The rubs weren't there on Friday, and he didn't wear the bell boots on Friday night, the night of the earthquake. I think the rubs just took a day before popping out. I filled a bucket with clean water and iodine prep solution. I grabbed a clean towel and a variety of ointments and skin topicals. Three of his four pasterns bore rub marks from the bell boots, the very items I used to protect him. They ranged in severity from very slight on the front pastern, to obviously painful in the back.
We have a two-day USDF show this weekend, so I have been babysitting those rubs like crazy. The front one is no longer a concern, and one of the back ones looks pretty decent. The other one? It's a mess. He's sound, but it can't feel good. I am scrubbing them clean each day and coating them with coconut oil and adding a layer of Scarlex for good measure.
he ranch owner and I had a long chat about Speedy. He's lost three pasture pals since last fall. First, Pixie was moved over to live with Archie, and then Willy was sold. Speedy's latest pasture mate, Rocky, only stayed a month or so before moving up to the mountains. Frankly, he's been quite stressed out by the loss of his companions.
We decided that Speedy might be happier if we moved him into half of Izzy's dry lot pasture. Izzy's field is crossed fenced with an open gate that allows him access to both sides. Both areas have their own access gate, lots of trees for shelter, and for Speedy, two mares live directly in front of the half that is now his. I dragged all of Speedy's particulars to his new home: his feed bucket, salt block, a water trough, and a tub for his hay. I am hoping this will keep him from feeling so isolated. And so far, the pacing and whirling have disappeared. Even when I take Izzy out he's not concerned.
I've resisted putting my boys so close together out of fear that Speedy will grow too attached to Izzy and really freak out when I separate them. Jokes on me, I guess. The weird thing was that as soon as they were side by side, all three of us took a deep, relaxing breath. My sense of symmetry and balance was satisfied, and both boys looked instantly at peace.
In summation, Operation Bubble Wrap was an epic failure. The only good thing that came out of it all was that Speedy now lives right next door to Izzy which makes things a little more convenient for me. Here's to hoping this is a long term fix for Speedy's anxiety. He could really use some quiet time.
And that's that.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%