From Endurance to Dressage
Well hallelujah. Speedy has finally put on a few pounds. It took all summer, but he finally filled out under my leg again. It was when I saw this picture from our show a week or two ago that I noticed.
We all know that I've got some weird position thing going on in that photo, but ignore that. If you'll notice, Speedy's badonkadonk is looking nicely rounded, and he actually has a bit of a tummy.
Here he is in early May when I really started to worry.
He's obviously not emaciated or anything, but I like the flesh to cover the ribs and not stop half way. By mid-June, his ribs were covered in flesh, but just barely. He looked like this.
When he went to see the vet in early August, Dr. Tolley gave him a 4 on the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System. I am not comfortable with a 4. I want my horses flirting with a 6. Contrary to what I thought, the doctor assured me that he looked quite healthy and that there was no problem with Speedy's weight.
Here he is this week.
No, he is not pregnant. This is just an awkward place to take conformation photos as his front feet are in a hole. That makes his belly seem lower than it is. But since all three photos were taken in the same place, it's a good way to see the change in his form.
I don't know that he's put more on weight since Dr. Tolley last saw him, but he's definitely a bit rounder than he was earlier in the summer. Dr. Tolley agreed that he could easily carry a few more pounds, but putting them on was going to be a challenge.
Speedy already gets as much alfalfa as he'll eat, 3 pounds of LMF Senior each morning, 1 and a half pounds of beet pulp with another pound and a half of LMF in the evenings, and 2 scoops of Platinum Performance. Dr. Tolley said that if I really wanted him rounder, my next option was to add in a fat source that doesn't have any volume. When I've fed him rice bran, he just eats less hay. Speedy just can't fit any more in.
So far, I think I've settled on flaxseed oil, but I haven't ordered it yet. Platinum Performance has a product that I want to investigate further - Healthy Weight. But as with all things from PP, it's expensive.
If you've tried it, or something similar, let me know. Now that Speedy is nice and round, I'd hate for him to lose it all once it starts to cool off.
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%