From Endurance to Dressage
Not much actually. A month ago, Izzy tweaked a shoe and has been some degree of lame or sore since. After the shoe was reset, he tweaked it a second time a week later, and to add insult to injury, a few days after that he yanked it completely free. Three hard jerks later, it's no surprise that he's sore.
He started out very lame on a trot out and while circling to both the left and right. Gradually, over two weeks, the lameness faded so that it was really only visible when tracking left. I took two lessons with Chemaine that were mostly at the walk and slow trot, and then I gave him the past three weeks off.
A week ago Friday, I decided to call the vet and schedule an appointment for the 11th since I have that day off. That would also have given Izzy another ten days to heal. While I was fairly confident that he was just bruised, I don't actually have a license to practice veterinarian medicine, so I figured I should seek the advice of someone who does.
I must have done something really right over the past few weeks as Dr. Tolley appeared at the barn that same Friday afternoon for a routine visit for my barn owner and the neighbor. How lucky was that? While he didn't do a an exam, we chatted about what had happened to Izzy and what my diagnostic and treatment options might be.
Dr. Tolley felt that I was on the right track with my amateur diagnosis of bruising, but he threw in the possibility of a small fracture as well. The only way to know for sure would be to do an x-ray, but given that his recommendation for time off would be the same whether it was a bruise or a fracture, I decided to skip an appointment.
Given that the lameness has faded to being almost imperceptible, I am okay with more time off as Izzy seems to be healing. Dr. Tolley okayed turnout - which is good because I never restricted that. There was no way I could coop this horse up for a month or more. He also said that riding was probably fine as well since nothing seemed to be made worse with riding, especially at the walk. With the kind of work that I do, riding isn't going to make a bruise any worse.
I hopped on him last night for the first time in three weeks. He was pretty darned good considering that he's young and just barely broke. If he hadn't been getting lots of lengthy turnout, there is no way I would have hopped on him cold, but since he has, I did.
He humped up his back pretty good, but I turned him left and right and walked him around the yard for a few minutes. When the hump dissipated, we headed out into the neighborhood. I was absolutely delighted with how well he kept it together. Sure, he was tense, but he marched forward. The only time he threw a fit was when we got back to the corner of the property.
Izzy knew I was going to keep going, so he said no. He tried to rear and back us up into the trees, but I gave him several sharp jerks with the reins and popped him with the whip. We walked past the turn for home and then came back past the barn. I walked him down the street and stopped to chat with my barn owner who was hand walking Bailey. Izzy fidgeted, but when we turned back towards home, he walked politely through the driveway entrance.
As a side note, I was actually too nervous to hop up on him in the arena which is why I chose to hack around the neighborhood instead. Crazy, I know, but I feel 100 times safer out in the open.
He is totally sound at the walk and canter, with or without an adrenaline surge. I've quit testing his lameness at the trot. When he's turned out, I can see it ever so slightly when he pivots on the left front. I'm going to keep riding him around the neighborhood for the next week. It keeps his mind very much engaged without pounding his foot.
Hopefully he's back to full soundness in the next few weeks.
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%: