From Endurance to Dressage
I work really hard to avoid afternoon appointments, but lately, they've been hunting me down. I rode Izzy on Monday afternoon, but then I've meetings on Tuesday and Thursday that kept me away. The farrier was out, so I was eager to get there on Wednesday to check out how Izzy and Speedy's feet looked.
I have to be the luckiest gray horse owner alive. Not only does my nearly white horse keep himself impeccably clean, but he has the hardiest white feet I have ever seen. I couldn't even tell that they'd been trimmed. Speedy rarely has chips or flares of any kind. For this go round, I think my farrier shortened and buffed them a bit to make them look pretty, but I bet he spent all of ten minutes and not a second more. There simply wasn't much to do.
Speedy's feet are so lovely that I didn't even hesitate to take him on a hack around the neighborhood on freshly trimmed feet. He is never sore after a trim and doesn't care whether we choose the dirt shoulder or just mosey right down the middle of the road.
As I was photographing his toes, I looked up at his left eye and was shocked to see that he had clearly gotten in a brawl with someone. I hope the other guy looked worse than he does!
I usually notice stuff like this much more quickly, but when I haltered him, I was focused on his feet and didn't even look at his face. It's hard to tell in the photo, but it looks like he scraped his lower lid. It's all dried up, and it wasn't particularly sensitive to touch. It's just swollen and unsightly.
Before I saw his eye, I had planned on doing a regular schooling ride, but after I saw it, I ditched that plan. I've had some eye issues myself over the past year and know how irritating it can be to try and focus (mentally) when you can't see well. Given our limited light anyway, I was happy to just swipe a brush over his back and throw on my riding halter.
I didn't even change out of my muck boots to ride. We were both bootless as a matter of fact. And I know I've shared this a million times already, but Speedy has the world's most awesome bareback space upon which to lounge. His back is so wide and flat that even a non-rider would have trouble falling off.
We did our regular neighborhood loop which included a stop at the apple tree for a few late fall apples. If there were apple trees in a dressage court, Speedy's leg yield would earn a 10 every time. It's amazing how well he moves sideways when it comes to sidling up next to a treat!
We also passed by the Haner's farm. The turkeys were gobbling and the goats were making all kinds of noises. Speedy gave them an interested glance, but he knows his job by now and didn't do much other than flag his tail in salute and blow a bit.
We stopped for some obligatory grazing; Speedy expects it. He knows that trail rides are about relaxing and enjoying our time together. As we continued on past the corner of our property line, we spotted Izzy in Laurel's turn out. When I called to him, he trotted about three steps towards us, but then he froze. He's still too nervous to use the length of the turn out alone. We continued on while he whirled and galloped back toward the barn. Silly boy!
When we finished up, I gave Speedy's eye another check. It looked the same. I am not worried about it as it was just a slight scrape. We're going to the cabin this weekend, so I won't be able to ride until Sunday at the earliest. I am sure it will be all healed up by then. I can't speak to the other guy's condition though. Hopefully Speedy gave as good as he got.
Have a great weekend, and I'll see you on Monday.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%