From Endurance to Dressage
At least I think he's back. Two rides are probably not enough to say for sure. After three weeks of just hanging out, he finally seemed sound on Sunday afternoon.
This lameness happens about once a year in the fall. At least five years ago, I took him to one of California's premier equine hospitals, Alamo Pintado. After extensive tests, Dr. Carter Judy felt that it was either an injury to the collateral ligament or a deep bruise. My own vet confirmed those two options, while my farrier seems certain it's a bruise. Either way, the solution is the same - time off.
After many years of the same pattern, I think I finally have a reason for why it happens. During the summer, I am at the barn every day in the early morning. I am a teacher and have most of the summer off. Speedy knows my schedule and looks forward to my visits.
Once I go back to work in mid-August, I simply can't keep the same schedule. I try to be out there seven days a week, but it's just not possible. It takes a while for Speedy's anxiety to build, but eventually, it reaches a point where he can't contain himself. At the least little provocation, he paces and whirls. When his pasture buddy goes out, he screams and whirls until he comes back. If he runs out of hay in the afternoon, he paces until I get there.
In all of the pacing and whirling he does, he inevitably whacks his own front feet, usually the right one, and comes up lame. The soreness will be quite pronounced the first day, but over two to three weeks it simply fades away.
I've checked his soundness once a week. On Sunday, he finally felt even in his stride. I only rode for twenty minutes, but we did most of the walk and trot work from Second Level. Since he felt good enough for that, I asked for some walk to canter to walk transitions. And then, just because I could, I checked in on the flying change. There was a buck or two in the canter half pass (which could only be called such because we were cantering toward the rail but it was awful), but when I asked for the change, he gave it promptly.
My fingers are crossed that he really is sound and stays that way. I have all week to reassure him that life is still worth living and that he hasn't been forgotten. Arabians are just too darned attached to their people.
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%: