From Endurance to Dressage
Both boys recently made their annual trip to visit Bakersfield Vet Hospital. Dr. B had the day off, so my other favorite vet, Dr. Tolley, did the honors.
As we do each spring, the boys received BVH's recommended core vaccines: Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis, West Nile Virus, and Tetanus - all given IM in the neck, followed by Influenza and Rhinopneumonitis - also given IM in the back of the thigh.
Their poop was also checked for worm eggs by BVH's new tech, Katharyn (sorry about the spelling). She was just as gracious as Mindy, the previous tech, and let me poke around the lab and check out her work under the microscope.
Dr. Tolley also "let" me help with the removal of both boys' "beans," those pesky clumps of smegma that form in and around a gelding's sheath. I say "let" because as soon as either boy drops, I dive in for a look. Sydney lets me poke around regularly, but Speedy G is very reluctant to let me handle his wing wang without the proper "cocktail." Dr. Tolley showed me a small trick for pulling out a wing wang when it is firmly tucked in hiding.
The boys also had their pearly whites examined and fussed over. Speedy G needed slightly more work than Sydney. He had some sharp points developing and some rough spots on the top of the teeth which prevent them from sliding back and forth. Dr. Tolley is an excellent teacher and always lets me check out his work first hand. He asks me to locate any hooks and spots that need addressing. I always miss most of the problem areas, but sometimes I am right!
When Sydney's turn rolled around, Dr. Tolley spotted an abnormality in Sydney's mouth that he wanted me to be aware of for the future. Sydney's bottom pm2 doesn't have a corresponding upper tooth, and his upper M3 doesn't have a corresponding bottom tooth. He doesn't have an underbite, he just doesn't line up correctly. The potential problem is that each of those teeth can grow unchecked without the aid of a partner tooth wearing them down. When Sydney first saw Dr. B and Dr. Tolley over the summer, it was thought that his previous dentist had just been overaggressive in his floating. But after closer inspection, Dr. Tolley suspects the aggressive dental work had been done to avoid the issue that he is now seeing. Sydney doesn't have anything to worry about as long as he receives regular dental care.
Both boys looked rather puny the next morning and weren't too interested in breakfast. RM, the barn owner, texted me at work just to give me the heads up. By afternoon, Speedy G was his regular, perky self, but Sydney still wasn't feeling up to par. I took him out on the lawn and let him hand graze which seemed to make him happier than anything else.
We're heading to the cabin over the weekend which means no riding, but for this particular weekend, that's a good idea. No point in stressing their immune systems when it's not absolutely necessary. Here are some photos of our recent "spring cleaning." Click photos for larger views.
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%: