From Endurance to Dressage
Because I like to cover all of my bases (more to come on why, but you'll have to wait a day or two), Izzy has had a very busy week. First, he (and Speedy) saw the saddle fitter who declared my saddle a good fit for Izzy and an even better fit for the gray pony. The next day, the farrier was out so both boys got manis and pedis.
I am rarely there when the farrier does his work, but I do make it out when he comes during my summer vacation. Let me just say, I was stunned at how completely business-like Izzy was while the farrier worked. He stood quietly without fidgeting - just like a big boy. My farrier even remarked at how much more mature Izzy has become over the past few months. Can I get a woot woot for 8 year olds?!
Izzy's back has been sore, so on Tuesday, I had my chiropractor out. I've been watching it, and while it hasn't gotten too bad, I wanted CC to have a look. Since I knew it wasn't a saddle fit issue, I wanted some possible explanations. Like ... is his back sore because he's so tense in his work, or is he tense in his work because his back is sore?
As with the farrier, my chiropractor was very pleased with Izzy's new-found maturity. When he started working on Izzy's poll, he was actually startled when Izzy dropped his head to the ground with the slightest bit of pressure. I giggled. I couldn't help it; I taught him that. It made CC's job a little easier for sure.
Most of the time, I call CC because Izzy has fallen, whacked something, or otherwise tried to maim himself. Since he was simply back sore, CC poked and prodded Izzy's entire body looking for the root of the problem. We knew it wasn't a saddle fit issue, so CC knew something else was causing the back pain. Horses don't typically get back pain like people do; it's usually because they hurt somewhere else.
His poll was good - for the first time, and his neck only had one or two little things that needed some work. He was also good through his withers. CC finally found a sticky spot in his ribs, and his hamstrings were definitely sore. Unfortunately, a sore back and tight hamstrings usually mean hock trouble.
CC tackled the ribs and then worked on the hamstrings. Adjustment wise, there wasn't much to be done. Muscle wise, Izzy was quite sore. CC did what he could, but his diagnosis was definitely sore hocks. That was not what I was expecting to hear, but it did help connect some dots especially when he said that sore-hocked horses find it harder to push off. You mean like in the canter? Yep.
CC's final advice was that I look into either some Legend or Adequan for Izzy's hocks. He loved that I had finally put him on Platinum Performance - he's a firm believer in proper mineral supplementation, but he thought I needed something specific for the hocks.
I gave Chemaine Hurtado, Symphony Dressage Stables' owner and trainer, a call and asked what she thought. She actually agreed with the chiropractor's assessment - sore backs often indicate sore hocks.
Next up ... the vet puts in his two cents.
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%