From Endurance to Dressage
The main reason we moved Izzy into the stallion's pen and the stallion into Izzy's pen was to help Speedy deal with the flies. I'll get there; give me a minute. Even though we use fly predators, the ranch is situated on the Kern River which means we deal with a lot of insects other than flies; gnats are particularly troublesome. While bugs are a pain in the patootie, the real problem is that Izzy won't let Speedy wear a fly mask nor a fly sheet.
Izzy has more energy than the rest of the horses on the ranch combined. Living in a large pen and being ridden four to five times a week doesn't use it all up. Since Speedy was his immediate neighbor, anything on or around Speedy became a toy. Frankly, Izzy is kind of a pest. Now that he's living on nearly a quarter of an acre with no shared fences, he can no longer rip off Speedy's clothes, and he has a lot more room in which to do obnoxious stuff.
Now that Izzy isn't there to rip it off, Speedy has kept his fly mask on every day for more than a week. I take it off each day to clean it and put a bit of ointment in his eyes. I was also able to buy a new fly sheet, and Speedy has been pretty happy to wear it. I bought the TuffRider Comfy Plus Belly Band & Tail Flap Fly Sheet because of the belly band, but when it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that it had three straps for the belly instead of just two.
While the belly band doesn't completely cover his sheath, it does offer a pretty fair amount of coverage. It will certainly make it more difficult for the flies to get up in his urethra. At least I hope so anyway. This particular fly sheet isn't fancy, but for the price - $39.95, it more than meets my expectations. It has two front buckle closures with an additional velcro closure, adjustable leg straps, a tail flap, and a soft lining at the shoulders to prevent rubbing. Will it last all year? Probably not - it already has a few teeth marks where Speedy has grabbed at it, but it was cheap enough that I won't mind buying another one.
Since I had my credit card out, I also bought two new Cashel Crusader Standard Fly Masks for my trailer. I always keep two in the trailer for hauling. Speedy's wearing an old one right now. If Izzy can prove that he won't destroy his cheapo fly mask, he'll get one of these, too. I like these because they're soft, and they provide more coverage than a lot of other fly masks. When you rip yours off and tear it into three pieces fifteen minutes after I've left, you no longer get to wear nice things, <cough> Izzy.
And since my credit card was still out, I also bought a fresh tub of electrolytes, Kentucky Performance Products Summer Games Electrolyte. These have served me well in the past. Last summer, I bought a pelleted electrolyte. Izzy ate them, and they were easy to feed, but I can't remember where I found them. I do like these though because they're powdered which makes it easy to adjust how much I feed.
Of course, all of my fly gear and the electrolytes came from the Riding Warehouse. If you're in need of some summer supplies, RW has some cool new products. If you're placing an order anytime soon, hit me up. I usually have a 15% discount code that I am happy to share.
Here's hoping the bugs are persuaded to avoid our no fly zone!
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%: