From Endurance to Dressage
This past Thursday, I posted an update, but as I was uploading some progress photos, I realized that in the most current photo, Speedy's hoof didn't look as good as it had just two weeks before. I called Dr. Tolley that day and scheduled an appointment for Friday morning.
I can't say enough about how much I appreciate the top notch care that Bakersfield Vet Hospital provides its clients. No matter what questions I have, or what problems I bring to the hospital, the entire staff jumps in to consult or help. While I was waiting for Dr. Tolley to finish with another client, Kathryn ran fecal tests in her lab while letting me hang out to watch and chat. It's like getting three or four for the price of one!
Dr. Tolley started his exam by using a stiff brush to knock away the dirt. It was clear that the wound had healed over, so he moved on to scrutinize the coronary band and hoof.
Using what looked like a Dremel tool, he next filed away excess growth from the Coronary band. He also opened up the damaged part of the hoof a little to remove what looked like dead tissue.
Although he probably should have used the clippers first, I know he pulled them out to really clean up the site to make sure he hadn't missed anything.
When the damaged area of hoof looked smoother, he tackled the bottom of the foot. Here's where it gets interesting. The coronary band is producing new hoof faster than the old hoof can grow down. Remember that the hoof wall became separated from the coronary band and is no longer connected at the top.
The coronary band is prolapsed, meaning it is bulging out. With nothing to pull it down, the new hoof wants to grow out and over the old hoof. Normally, the new hoof growth pushes the existing hoof down as it grows because they're connected. It reminds me of an adult tooth pushing on a baby tooth. Sometimes one or the other is not lined up correctly, and the adult tooth will grow at a crooked angle if it doesn't have enough room to drop into place.
To give the new hoof room to grow downward rather than outward, Dr. Tolley cut an arch into the portion of hoof directly beneath the damaged area so that the old hoof can sink down out of the way.
Over the next two weeks, Dr. Tolley wants me to use a rasp to file away any hoof within the red lines that touches the ground. Leaving a gap there encourages the old hoof to fall down as the new hoof pushes in from the top.
Dr. Tolley assured me that even though it looked hinkey last week, it was growing just fine. All he did was clean it up a little bit. In fact, he said that I can probably put Speedy back to work in two weeks. I am to send him a fresh picture before he gives the final go ahead.
By late November, there should be sufficient new hoof to provide enough support for riding. The only concern will be whether the old hoof is strong enough to resist breaking away. If it's not, we can put on an eggbar shoe to support it while more hoof grows.
While I want to ride, I don't want to mess around with expensive shoes when I can get the same result by waiting a few weeks longer. I should know more in a couple of weeks, but it all looks good for now!
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
2022 Show Schedule
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%