From Endurance to Dressage
First of all, it's an incomplete story. I am just going to tell part of it as a) Taz is not my horse, and b) it's like a ten-year long tale. None of us has time for that.
So who does Taz belong to? Taz is the long-time equine buddy of my long-time endurance buddy. I always call her Taz's Mom. I guess that won't work here. While I personally have no shame and thus happily post all of my equine foibles across the world wide web, I don't imagine that my friends want their lives broadcast as flippantly as my own. Therefore, I try to protect their identities since I want to keep them as friends. So with that, Taz's Mom will be referred to as TM.
Taz's story started about 13 years ago. TM was looking for a new endurance prospect, and I had just heard about a nice young gelding from a well-known endurance breeder and trainer. Taz was cheap and had some training. Perfect! TM made a few calls and in no time, Taz was dropped off at her place for a trial.
We all came by to have a look at him and offer our opinion. Hmm ... not much to say. He was big, knocked kneed, and a full year younger than what we had thought. Send him back was the consensus. And so the call was made; Taz was going back.
Except he wouldn't get on the trailer. At all. For nobody. Taz's price got VERY cheap, and he ended up staying with TM. He was three at the time; he's now 16 and still with her. It took professional help and a lot of patience on the part of TM, but Taz eventually learned to load and travel quietly. He also turned out to be a very nice horse. I am so glad we were wrong!
A few years later, it was August I know because it was just before the Eastern High Sierra Classic 50-miler, Taz developed a shoe boil. TM was very disappointed as the wound required lancing. Taz wasn't going to the EHSC.
TM bought numerous shoe boil boots over the years and kept them on when a flare-up seemed imminent, but they didn't always work. Every couple of years, always right before the EHSC, Taz's shoe boil would erupt again. At the start of each August, TM would start preparing for what seemed like the inevitable.
In the summer of 2011, Taz's shoe boil erupted yet again. This time, Dr. B sliced it all the way open in hopes that it would close back up slowly and completely. It didn't. For more than a year, TM has been doctoring it almost daily. If she missed a day, it would get infected, swell, and smell bad. She took him back to BVH after six months and had it re-poked, but it just wouldn't heal. It's now December; she finally had enough and took Taz in to have the whole wound re-evaluated.
Dr. Tolley (my other favorite vet), decided to go with a more aggressive treatment. Instead of opening it down the middle, he cut around and behind the mass and removed it. I often go with TM to these kinds of appointments as we both love to learn. I didn't get to go this time so I am writing what she told me. She said that the hole Dr. Tolley had to cut was big enough to put your fist in. She would know as she held the flashlight over Dr. Tolley's shoulder so that he could see what he was doing.
As a side note, our BVH vets are AWESOME. They love their clients and encourage us to participate in every aspect of our horses' care. That means that we are welcome to assist as long as we're truly helping and not hindering. I've even served as Dr. B's vet tech for more than a couple of euthanasias. Unpleasant for sure, but also a learning experience.
I drove over to TM's place on Saturday to look at the post-surgical site when they got home. It's ugly. The photos of the mass that Dr. Tolley removed are quite gross, so don't scroll down too far if you're squeamish. For now, there is a large, pressure bandage stitched to the wound. Taz goes back in two weeks for an exam. The prognosis isn't great. Either it will close up, or it won't. At least there's not an infected, oozy mass in Taz's armpit anymore.
I am really hoping that Taz's body starts to heal and that he can once again carry his mom down the trail like he's done for more than a decade. Here's a photo of Taz and his mom at Morro Rock in 2009.
The photos of Taz's surgery site are down below ... (I don't want anyone to accidentally see them, so scroll down past the arrows.
Click images to enlarge ...
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%: