From Endurance to Dressage
The main reason that I left my last barn of more than five years was so both horses could have even bigger living areas than they had before. And it wasn't like their last stalls/paddocks were small either. While neither boy could get up a gallop or anything, they could play pretty hard. At the ranch, they can gallop. They can also woohoo or amble. Just being able to stroll from here to there all day long seems to prevent any build up of excess energy.
Even with all of that room, Izzy has adopted one particular section of dirt right next to a fence as his sleeping area. I'll admit that the footing there is softer, but that's primarily because he has spent a lot of time digging and rearranging the dirt.
Over the past two weeks, I've caught him getting stuck when he rolls or takes a nap. He's dug quite a big hole (just to the left of the photo) that he likes to lay in. The problem is that it's rather difficult to hoist your 1200 pound self out of a hole once your legs are higher than your head. I recently had to rescue my brown turtle by rearranging his legs to give him better traction. Another day, I waited anxiously as he grunted and groaned but finally heaved himself upright.
Sometime during the night or early hours on Sunday morning, Izzy laid down in or near his hole and got stuck. By the time I showed up on Sunday morning, he had managed to right himself but not before gouging up his right hind and left front legs.
As soon as I saw the damage Izzy had done to his legs, I texted the ranch owner. She came out and looked Izzy over with me. I cold hosed his legs and then walked him out while she looked for any wonky steps. Other than having two hot and swollen legs, he looked fine. He was eating happily and looked sound at the walk.
We locked Izzy in the far side of his turnout and hashed out a plan to encourage him to sleep somewhere else. Today, the ranch hand will drag all of the soft dirt to the middle of the paddock and re-stabilized the fence, lifting it out of the dirt in the process.
Why Izzy needs to sleep right next to the fence is a mystery to me. Sometimes, I think they like to hurt themselves just to spite us. I am pretty confident that the swelling will be down by the time I get out there this afternoon. And in two or three days, he'll be good as new minus a bit of hair.
Next time, Dude, get up on the right side of the bed!
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%: