From Endurance to Dressage
I know. Not the way most people use their vet to buy horses. Usually the vet looks at the horse before money changes hands, not several weeks later!
When we went to look at Sydney in Clovis, we could tell that he looked to be sound, and in good health. I asked questions about his last vaccinations, worming, farrier visit, and so on. Debbie Davis, of Sport Equine, is in the business of re-homing horses and has a reputation for honesty. I trusted that her responses were truthful. And of course, the purchase contract allowed for an exam by my own veterinarian.
Once Sydney was home, I put in a call to Dr. Blanton and asked about bringing him in. I gave her my opinion of his soundness and his overall attitude (it's great to have a vet who trusts your judgement and opinion!). SInce she was to be on vacation for two weeks, my job was to monitor him and note any areas of concern. When she returned, I would bring him in for an evaluation.
After observing Sydney for several weeks, a few things did raise little red flags. The first concern was his weight. He was thinner than I like and not very enthusiastic about meal time. Was this an ulcer, painful teeth, or just new horse jitters? I also noticed that the flies were particularly bothersome to him, so I bought a fly sheet along with a fly mask and sprayed him religiously each day. Was that enough? I also kept an eye on the bedsores on his hips and hocks and monitored their rate of healing. Were they getting smaller?
Sydney made the trip to the vet hospital like a pro, unloaded without any fuss, and walked into the examining bay very bravely. Even with another horse having major dental work done, Sydney allowed himself to be led into the stocks without the need for any extra encouragement.
Dr. Blanton listened to my small list of concerns and ordered a fecal test to check for shedding worm eggs and a stool test to check for blood in case of an ulcer. In the meantime, she gave him a physical exam paying close attention to his eyes, ears, and teeth as well as his heart, lungs, and gut. She also examined his legs very carefully, especially the hind with the scarring. Both fecal tests came back negative, and his teeth were in fine shape. Here's an abbreviated video of the exam ...
Dr. Blanton's recommendations were that I keep feeding him as I had since he was gaining weight and his appetite was building. He does not have an ulcer, and his teeth are fine. She felt that a fly sheet was a good option for this horse, and the fly bites didn't seem serious enough to suggest an allergy. Just continue with the fly spay. Since the bedsores were definitely smaller, I stocked up on more Scarlex, and promised to continue bedding his stall. Overall, she liked Sydney and was happy to have him as her newest patient.
And one more time ... I love my vet!
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%