From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy didn't look so good on Saturday. While I felt bad, I at least knew why he looked Not Quite Right (NQR). The poor guy has been through a lot the past three weeks. He's had an abscess. He got vaccinated. His teeth got the rough edges taken off. I gave him a dewormer on Thursday. And to add insult to injury, his dose of Prascend got doubled starting on Friday.
When I pulled into the ranch on Saturday morning. I could see Speedy standing in the farthest corner of his field. His head was hanging rather dejectedly, and he didn't even bother coming over to say hi like he normally does. My heart started to beat faster, and I had to restrain myself from hopping both fence lines get to him more quickly. Instead, I fed Izzy his cookies as I walked around to Speedy's gate, all the while watching him for signs of illness.
My mind was whirling with next steps; take his temperature. Check his pulse and respiration. Call the vet. I walked out to him and immediately felt marginally better when he looked at me expectantly. He wasn't willing to walk over to get a cookie, but he was willing to check my hands and pockets for one. I breathed a sigh of relief when he contentedly chewed up his cookie and asked for more.
Instead of checking for soundness like I had planned, I brought Speedy up to the feed room and gave him a thorough grooming. Lunging could wait for another day. I worked the dirt out of his coat and pulled layer after layer of shedding hair. He stood with a leg cocked, and basked in the attention. He wasn't feeling great, but he appreciated the gentle strokes of my grooming glove. He rubbed his forehead against my hands and seemed to groan in pleasure.
I turned him loose in the yard to graze for more than an hour as I rode Izzy. Grazing on the spring grass while visiting with each horse in turn seemed to lift his spirits. By the time I put him away, he looked almost like his old self.
The next morning, he was markedly perkier even whinnying at me when I pulled in. We walked up to the arena for that postponed soundness check. I put him on the lunge line and was delighted to see that he was sound both directions at all three gaits. I didn't ask for too much, just enough to encourage a big stretch down and a longer stride. He seemed happy to finally be back to some semblance of work.
Things may be changing for Speedy and me, but at least he's feeling better and looking like he's ready to get back to work.
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%