From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy went to the vet on Saturday, and I think it was the first time he has gone by himself. He was a very good boy. Oh, and lest anyone worry, it was just a routine visit. Since we're doing at least two shows this fall, Izzy needed his Flu and Rhino vaccinations in order to satisfy US Equestrian's within six months rule.
When I made the appointment, I stressed that it was just for the vaccine - I hate to take up Dr. Tolley's time unnecessarily. I knew that if Dr. Tolley had time, he would give Izzy a thorough exam anyway; he always does. When I backed Izzy off the trailer, I asked Dr. Tolley if I could take Izzy over to the scale before he gave him the vaccine. Izzy clocked in at a light 1,260 pounds; he's been heavier. Dr. Tolley suggested we try and shove more food into him. I've since had that conversation with the ranch owner as well as doubled Izzy's rice bran to three pounds per day (along with his daily two to three pounds of beet pulp and full cup of milled flaxseed).
As we exited the scale, Dr. Tolley led us inside. I was a little surprised he put Izzy in the stocks as he was just getting a single vaccination, something Dr. Tolley usually does at the trailer. And then I realized that Dr. Tolley didn't have a line of patients, so we were his entertainment for the day. The truth is that Dr. Tolley is just so conscientious that he wouldn't feel as though he were doing his job if he just stuck in a needle and sent us on our way. If he gets the chance to put his hands on one of his patients, he wants to make certain they're in good health even if he's just seeing them for a quick vaccination.
Since Dr. Tolley asked how things were going, I told him about Izzy's skin condition. I ran through the list of all of the fly sprays and topical treatments I've tried over the summer, including the switch from flaxseed oil to milled flaxseed. Dr. Tolley agreed that treating Izzy from the outside was not working. Before prescribing anything, Dr. Tolley asked about Izzy's deworming cycle.
Both of my boys get fecal EPG tests done twice a year - in fact I had brought two fresh samples with me, followed by a tube of ivermectin each spring and fall. Dr. Tolley pointed out that pinworms don't show up on eggs per gram tests, so he did something I've never seen. He took a piece of scotch tape and pushed it gently into Izzy's bum and then adhered it to a blank slide. He slid the freshly prepared slide under the microscope and gave it a look. Fortunately he couldn't find evidence of pinworms, so the tail itching was attributed to the gnats that are eating Izzy alive.
Since topicals aren't giving Izzy any relief, a steroidal plan was in order. He gave Izzy an IV injection of dexamethasone, a steroid that treats inflammation, and recommended prednisolone, a corticosteroid that decreases inflammatory or immune responses. Unfortunately, the prednisolone was out of stock and only arrived yesterday. I'll run back out there and pick it up. today. We'll start Izzy on 20 tablets a day, reducing it over time until we see which dosage is effective. The plan will be to give it until December 1, the end of our fly/bug season, and resume it by April 1 of next spring.
In the meantime, he also prescribed another topical cream, Triamcinolone acetonide, another corticosteroid used topically to treat various skin conditions. Hopefully this one works a little better than all of the other over the counter products I've tried.
Even though I took Izzy to Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital for just a vaccine, I walked away having learned just a little bit more about equine health. Sometimes I feel like I need to add a little bit extra to my bill for the lessons that I get from Dr. Tolley.
Just kidding; my vet bills are high enough!
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%: