From Endurance to Dressage
Pass the Salt, Please!
I think this falls under my Weird, But True category. I think it's weird. I've had Speedy G for more than 3 years. He was three when he came to me and he just turned seven. In all that time I've never seen him use the salt lick. For most of the time I've owned him, the salt lick has been in one of those plastic holders that rests on the ground. Like everyone else, I'm just guessing here, when it got dusty I would spray it off with the hose, rub it smooth with a stiff brush, and wonder why he wasn't using it. Sometime last year I moved the salt lick up into his feeder since we feed our hay on the ground. (That's a whole 'nother story and has to do with natural grazing ideas, nasal drainage, and eye irritations.)
Anyhoo ... Speedy G gets his lunch as the last part of my barn time. He knows when he should get it, and the process works well for us both. He comes out of his stall willing for turn out, work, or grooming because he KNOWS that the instant he gets put back, his lunch is O N T H E W A Y. And it better be "pronto" or the gentle nickers get pretty whiney!
I say all of this because I never watch him actually eat his lunch. I stand there to make sure he starts eating his lunch, and I get tremendous satisfaction out of listening to those very happy, slurpy sounds, but then I head home for my own shower and lunch. A few weeks ago I got held up by something and didn't leave immediately. As I was walking back down the barn aisle toward Speedy G's stall, I noticed that he was eating something in his feeder. This struck me as odd since his beetpulp mash was in the bucket next to the feeder and nothing else had been added to the feeder. I peeked over the top of the feeder to discover that the salt lick was all gooey and covered with ... gooiness. Hmmmm ....
I hung out for a few minutes and saw Speedy G slurp up his lunch and then go to the salt lick for a few licks before returning to his lunch. Well, now... It seems as though Speedy G likes a bit of salt in his food!
I came back a few days later and perched myself on the rail with video camera in hand hoping to catch him add some salt to his lunch. Here's the video ...
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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)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: