From Endurance to Dressage
On Saturday afternoon, both of my boys saw Dr. Tolley at Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital for their annual check ups. I don't know why I like spending so much money for something so mundane, but going to the vet for vaccinations and dentals is one of my favorite spring activities.
Dr. Tolley makes the visit interesting; I always learn something new. For this visit, Kathryn, BLAH's office manager taught me about a Latin American musical instrument created from an equine or bovine jaw bone. It's classified as an idiophone. When the flesh is removed and the bone is clean, the teeth are loosened and make a buzzing sound when struck with a stick or the hand. Relevancy? you might ask. It's why horses don't exactly love their teeth worked on. They feel the buzzing at the top of their heads which is annoying. Again, I love going to BLAH.
If I take Speedy anywhere by himself, he is confident and happy and trusts me to come back if I leave him. If I bring another horse, all of that goes out the window, and I become a nobody. That meant Izzy had to go in a holding pen first so that Speedy didn't get left by himself. While Izzy will call and whinny for Speedy, he won't actively try to maim himself like Speedy will do. So, Izzy was put in a pen while I walked Speedy over to the scale. He usually weighs 950 exactly, but for this visit he clocked in at 968. Not sure where he's putting it, but I was happy to see the higher number as he looks a little thin to me.
Dr. Tolley Gave Speedy a thorough exam. The one thing he always comments on is a weird shape in Speedy's left eye. There are a few black dots that always cause Dr. Tolley to pause, so he urged me to keep my own eye on it as uveitis can be painful and dangerous to the health of an equine eye. According to Dr. Tolley, Speedy looks good, his weight is good, and his teeth were in great shape for a horse who will be 19 in three weeks.
Even though Speedy's teeth looked great, Dr. Tolley couldn't resist "cleaning" them up just a little bit. Once he was finished, I grabbed the ever present bucket with cotton and soap and gave Speedy's sheath a good cleaning. Dr. Tolley can do it of course, but I always beat him to it. My boys are pretty good about letting me get up in there, but it's a lot easier when they've dropped all the way. While I finished with Speedy's man parts, Dr. Tolley gave Speedy his vaccinations. And with Speedy drunk off his butt - those afternoon cocktails work quickly, we led him over to Izzy's catch pen and swapped horses. As Izzy walked out, Speedy didn't even look his way. A drunk horse is a quiet horse.
Izzy is much better behaved than Speedy, but Dr. Tolley gave him a cocktail as well. Before doing so however, we weighed him on the outside scale, and for the first time in more than eight years. Izzy topped the 1,400 mark. He weighed in at a solid 1,410, sixty pounds more than usual. Dr. Tolley was really impressed with Izzy's overall condition. He felt that Izzy finally had a body condition score of 5. Izzy's a pretty big horse at 16'3," but he's not easy to keep weight on. He eats a massive amount of grass hay along with a bucket of beet pulp and rice bran each day, but grass hay is just not the type of hay to feed a horse who could use more weight. If we give him alfalfa or any other fat supplement, his energy level skyrockets, which is something I don't need.
Izzy's teeth were also in pretty good shape, not quite as nice as Speedy's but he's also a few years younger. As I had done with Speedy, I also cleaned Izzy's sheath, he lets me pick off junk every time I tack up, so there wasn't much to be cleaned off. Once I was finished, Dr. Tolley vaccinated him, and that was it. Kathryn took Izzy over to wait in the pen next to Speedy while I followed Dr. Tolley back to the office to pay my bill. I also bought an extra tube of Dormosedan Gel to keep on hand and got certificates of vaccination for each horse. The entire staff at Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital is simply the best. I am always treated like a friend and never just a walking checkbook. The doctors, vet techs, and office staff all care a great deal about their clients - both equine and human.
And by the way, BLAH is offering a 25% discount on dentals through the end of the month. You still have time to take advantage of the discount!
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%: