From Endurance to Dressage
With the much needed rain, things have been a bit quiet, but there were a few little things that happened over the week.
Speedy Moment #1
Speedy has always been really good at knowing when I am due at the barn. Even at the last barn we were at, the barn manager would tell me he knew when I was coming because Speedy would start looking for me. My current barn owner says the same thing. She says that she always knows when I am just about to pull in, especially if I am driving my truck, because Speedy starts looking down the road.
The day after I bought my new car, I pulled into the barn only to be met by a disinterested butt. Speedy didn't even glance my way. When I opened the door and called his name, his head snapped around and he looked at me in surprise. That happened for a few days. A week later, he has started to recognize that I am driving something different.
Speedy Moment #2
I am giving Speedy the official title of World's Cleanest Gray Horse. This is what his paddock looks like right now ...
This is what he looked like when I pulled him out of his stall for a hand graze. I didn't touch him with a brush or even swipe his back with my hand. Check out his feet and legs. They aren't even muddy and he is pooping and peeing OUTSIDE! How is this possible?
Speedy Moment #3
This one is not so good, but it's not the end of the world either. I didn't go to the barn on Tuesday because it was pouring rain. When I got there on Wednesday, I immediately saw that Speedy was quite lame at the walk. My heart sank, and all I could think was again?!?!? We've been down this road the past two winters.
Each time, it has started out exactly the same: we have a great ride, I don't come out the next day, and then he's grade three lame at the walk. The first year it showed up, we went to Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, a premier sport horse hospital on the central coast. Without an MRI, and based only on x-rays, Dr. Carter Judy had to make a best guess diagnosis which was either a deep abscess, a bruise, or problems with the collateral ligament. I went the safe route and treated Speedy for the ligament (hand walking and stall rest). Within days of coming home with the diagnosis, Speedy was sound for more than a year.
The next spring, the lameness reappeared in exactly the same way. For that occurrence, I took him to my own vet who questioned the collateral ligament diagnosis. He felt the lameness was indeed bruising caused by the way Speedy was shod. It took a few months to figure it out, but my new farrier eventually found extensive bruising around Speedy's hoof wall and recommended that he go barefoot. Speedy was whacking his front feet with his hinds, and after pulling his shoes, he immediately went sound and has been since last June.
So when I showed up this week to see the exact same lameness, I was definitely disappointed, but at least I know what is probably going on. Over the past couple of weeks, I've been turning Izzy out every other day over at Laurel's. Speedy HATES this. He screams and races around his small paddock whacking the wall that you see in the photo above.
He doesn't get to do this for very long as I ride him while Izzy is turned out, but it was apparently enough to make him sore. Since Tuesday, he's been on 2 grams of Bute, and I tie him up like you see in the photo while I turn Izzy out.
The very next day, he was markedly improved, and by Friday he was at least 95% sound at the walk and eager to trot out. If this round of lameness is anything like the past two, he should be sound enough to ride in a week or two.
There is never a dull moment with Speedy!
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%: