From Endurance to Dressage
We're on day 16 of UlcerGard, but I can't say definitively if it's working or not. The changes that I've seen in Izzy's attitude could just be a maturation of our relationship, but I don't think so. I think he feels better.
A month or so ago, I did a 4-day treatment of UlcerGard. He's always had a strong friendly streak, but on the Ulcergard, he let his friendly flag fly. The dude was all over me. A few days after the last dose of UlcerGard, we had a ride that could only be described as a hot mess. He forgot that I was even there. I consulted my vet, and he recommended a few weeks of UlcerGard.
In an effort to build on his friendliness, I decided to make a game of giving him his daily dose. I started with two peppermint candies in my hand along with a tube of UlcerGard. I kept it in plain site so that he wouldn't be surprised by it. With no halter, I loudly crinkled the first piece of candy as I unwrapped it, and then I let him nose my hand a moment before letting him nibble it from my fingers.
While he was chewing, I uncapped the UlcerGard and popped it in his mouth. The first time, he wrinkled up his nose and let me know that it wasn't as tasty as the first treat. I quickly crinkled the wrapper of the second piece of candy, and he immediately forgot about the UlcerGard. He now lets me slip it in his mouth without hesitation, and he has gotten friendlier with each empty tube.
One morning, I got to the barn particularly early as I had to be to work by 8:00. I found him curled up, still very sleepy. I walked up to him slowly and squatted alongside him, stroking his neck and face. I slipped him his candy, much to his delight, and followed it up with the UlcerGard and a second piece of candy. He sleepily blinked at me, but stayed right where he was even as I drove off. he was completely unconcerned by the early morning interruption.
The change that I am most noticing is the relaxation all over his body. He's not holding tension in his back like I usually see. He looks droopy most of the time, almost like he's about to melt down into a big brown puddle. He also can't get enough of me. He's constantly licking me or gently chewing on my jacket or belt loops. All he wants to do is play with me.
I am definitely liking this friendlier, more relaxed horse. I hope it is the UlcerGard doing its thing. If so, it will be money well spent.
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read