From Endurance to Dressage
Oops! I got a little busy and forgot to share the results from the little poll I created about how we use our vets. While I wasn't surprised by the results, I was fascinated by your many comments. Apparently I stink at designing polls as many of you had trouble selecting an answer because there wasn't one that fit. Or one that fit for this year.
The biggest issue for question number one seemed to be that most of us use a different vet depending on the circumstance. Even I have done that, but it didn't occur to me to add that answer as a choice. So while we might use a regular vet for vaccinations and dentals, many people use a sport horse vet or other specialist for diagnosing lamenesses or other more serious concerns.
Most of you also had trouble answering the second question because it's really hard to define "how often." How often could mean most of the time, but for all of us, there seems to be that year where we see the vet fifty times. I think most respondents answered the question with how infrequently they wanted to use their vet's service.
For me, that's twice a year: once in the spring for vaccinations and fecal counts, and once in the fall for follow-up fecals. In reality, it seems as though I use my vet a lot more often than I like. This year I am certain to hit the "6-10 a year" category since the number is already at four. I still have spring vaccinations and fall fecal counts.
When I answered the third question, I selected answer number two, but if I could change my answer, it would now be number one. My preference is to haul my horses in as I feel they receive better care. At the vet hospital, all the equipment that my vet might need is in place as are the stocks and various techs and assistants.
This month was the first time in a few years that I had to have him out to my barn. When I unwrapped Izzy's leg on that first day, the wound was so large and out of my experience level that I didn't feel comfortable re-wrapping it with just quilts and standing bandages and then shoving him back into the trailer. The safest option was to bring the vet to the wound.
I figured most readers would select answer number two as not everyone has access to a trailer, so it surprised me that so many actually do both. I am one of the two who chose the third answer.
This one. Bwahahahaha. This is one of those questions where we all desperately wanted to choose the first answer. And I suppose that there are those smooth sailing years where nothing out of the ordinary happens and we simply pay for those annual vaccinations and dental work.
Even if I have nothing out of the ordinary, my minimum bill per horse is over $500. My vet is pretty pricey. A standard dental is $175 and that doesn't include the $80 for sedation (I do two horses). Fecal counts are almost $30 (each horse gets two a year) and vaccination are another couple of hundred dollars. There goes more than $500 ... times two.
This year, I am already pretty far over that, but at least one fecal and one dental have already been completed. I hope I don't hit the $5,000 mark, but my yearly bill will definitely be over $1,000 for Izzy.
Thanks for answering my poll questions, weak and ambivalent as they were. One of my favorite things about blogging is reading how people around the country take care of their horses. Each region of the country presents its own challenges for horse owners. If you're a blogger, I hope you'll consider sharing more about your vet care challenges and barn life in general. I'd love to hear more.
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2022 Shows Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Completed …
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: