From Endurance to Dressage
Holy smokes, was I ever touched by all of your comments and prayers about Speedy's recent injury! Thank you for that. On Monday, I was so angry, at who I don't know, and frustrated that I knew if I had tried to write about it, I would have simply spewed fire and brimstone. While I am still very disappointed and quite worried - things don't always heal as smoothly as we would like, I am no longer angry. I've settled into my usual workmanlike attitude. I have a job to do, so I am just going to crank it out. WIth that ...
Yesterday we left off with Speedy sutured and bandaged. I was discouraged by the injury, but with a plan in place, I decided to just move forward. It was what it was, but this too would pass. I wanted to hang out at the barn for a while to make sure that Speedy was okay, so I saddled up Izzy.
I could hear Speedy calling as I rode, but that's pretty typical. He hates to be left behind. I worried a little bit that he might bang up his newly bandaged leg, but he had seemed quiet enough as I led Izzy away.
After our ride, I walked Izzy back toward his gate. My heart stopped. Blood was pouring down Speedy's other front leg, and hunks of hair were clinging to the bottom of the gate. Up until that point, we had been puzzled at how he had cut himself the first time. We had searched for any sign of hair or blood, but nothing was found. Now I knew. In addition, the first bandage was blood soaked and sagging. I was certain Speedy had ripped open the sutures.
I quickly pushed Izzy into his paddock, keeping his halter in hand for Speedy. As I tearfully placed the halter on Speedy, I frantically placed a call to the ranch owner. Speedy was dancing in hand, his marbles having been lost an hour earlier. I dragged him over to the hose and quickly began flushing the wound with cold water. I needed to see how deep it actually was.
My heart had already sunk so many times that morning that I simply quit thinking straight or logically. I had enough sense to snap a photo and send it to my vet, but from that point on, I was either sobbing while hyperventilating, or just sobbing. Just how much can one person take?
I called the vet again and was put straight through to the office manager. She urged me to take a breath and assured me that both vets would look at the photo immediately. I was still sobbing.
By this point the ranch owner had joined me and reassured me that it didn't look as bad as I feared. The bleeding quickly slowed to a trickle - which was probably mostly water by that point anyway. As I weeped incoherently into the phone, I handed it to her and she explained what we were seeing.
Both vets confirmed that it could be stapled closed if I wanted, or I could just as easily wrap it as I had the other one. Both wounds would heal in a similar time frame.
With the ranch owner's help, I slowly calmed down and carefully removed the first bandage. To my relief, there was no additional damage, just some seeping of blood. With Speedy protesting, I rewrapped that wound and then bandaged the new one. By the time we finished, Speedy had been stuffed full of candy, and now had three freshly bandaged legs.
On Wednesday, I removed all of the bandages in order of severity; I did the hind leg first. To my surprise, the wound had scabbed over and looked mostly healed. That leg was off my worry list.
The less-injured front leg looked remarkably better, prayer is a powerful thing. Even though the wound looked nearly knit together, I decided to re-bandage it anyway.
Feeling a bit encouraged by the progress of the first two wounds, I slowly unwrapped the final leg. Since I had stepped out of the treatment bay as the wound was being stitched, I didn't see it freshly sutured. I did see it flayed open however, so when I had a chance to closely exam Dr. Tolley's work, I was of course grossed out. After getting over my ew response, I closely examined the stitches and felt amazement at what he was able to repair.
Since Tuesday morning, I've been at the barn twice daily to give Speedy his antibiotics. If I was grateful for last weekend's three-day weekend, I am even more so this weekend. Driving out there twice a day has made this a long couple of days. I'll give Speedy the final dose of antibiotics on Monday afternoon.
I am also re-wrapping every other day. Today is a re-wrap day, so I am optimistic that things will have continued to improve. It might even be that the front leg without the stitches might be healed enough to stop bandaging. My fingers are crossed.
I am deeply disappointed, but my emotions are firmly in check. I haven't cried since Tuesday, and I am already moving on. Speedy's life is going to suck for a month or so, but then we'll be back at it.
Have a great weekend!
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%