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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back from OH!

The title of this post is a little misleading, actually. I've technically been back from OH since late Saturday night, but I've just been too busy and exhausted to possibly contemplate a post. I'll go over the past few days...

Thursday-Saturday: Gogo had this time off as a mini-vacation. She's not actually had a real break since..... well, it's been a very long time. She's not had more than a few days off at a time since probably last January, simply because she just goes INSANE after having time off. Which leads to...

Sunday: I figured it was a very good idea to just lunge in the chambon today instead of getting on, and I was right. I could tell she was on edge and ready to jump out of her skin when I walked into the arena, so I told the other boarder who was riding that she might want to stay down at the other end of the ring for a little while! I walked/trotted her for a few minutes without the chambon, then went to hook it up, and of course, immediate explosion the second she walked off. Or rather, she walked off, and then broke into a trot, and then hit the chambon and lost it. She backpedaled, completely sat down and almost flipped over backwards, then managed to somehow right herself and went galloping off, head in the air and mouth agape at the chambon which was now probably digging into her chest and mouth, poor thing. A few more similarly unnecessary explosions later, she finally settled down, and was fairly good. I wasn't expecting any miracles, given her mild insanity!

Monday: Hack day! Sad to say, this was not the nice relaxing conditioning hack I was hoping it would be. Still fired up from her time off, Gogo was hot and spooky, going so far as to even go leaping across the road when a different colored piece of curb came into view - VERY scary. So I finally had to take up a tighter contact (we had been on a nice loose rein, but apparently that was not the good idea that it usually is) and do the rest of our walking and trotting as real connected work instead of just long rein hack work. Bummer. She was cheerful as all hell back in the barn though, so maybe it did her brain some good.

Tuesday: Today, I was inspired to go outside and ride in the outdoor - the first time I've done that since I've been here. There were still some huge puddles, but those weren't a problem. Our outdoor is in a raised area (so why are there puddles...?), so that two whole sides of it are flanked by hills that fall sharply away, and it is not fenced in, so you kinda need to be careful with volatile bouncy tigger mares like mine, lol. She started off all right, a little kinked in her neck and back right in front of the saddle like she does when she's avoiding work, but she started to develop some swing through her back and all was looking up. And then she did something I don't think she's really ever done before... she grabbed the bit and started leaping and plunging and rearing on purpose, just to be naughty. Not because she didn't understand, not because she was frustrated. She was doing it just to be a wenchy punk. Bad mare!! She wasn't anxious or worried or concerned, she was just... being bad. A few thumps in the ribs got her going forward again after her little balky nonsense, and she then settled in for the rest of a very nice ride. She was still a bit on the forehand by the end of the ride - we never achieved the sort of lightness and freedom in her shoulders that I've been getting as of late - but I figured I wasn't about to push the issue since she was giving me such a nice workout anyway. Not to mention the fact that tons of birds were flying, wind was blowing, Amos was galloping around the field with his tail over his back, cars were zooming in and out, etc. She was focused the whole time, even if she was being kind of a dweeb during the first 20 or so minutes. The remaining hour? Pretty damn good!


Something interesting is happening to my horse - she is shedding out in a very odd way! Check it out - she's growing in what looks to be either more winter coat or perhaps the beginnings of a summer coat (notice how dark she is now, compared to when I first clipped her) and she's shedding.... only around her eyes. She's got raccoon eyes!!


That's her 'stop taking my picture' face. Ignore the sweat marks... this is post-workout. Her neck actually looks kinda.... fat here.


And also, we got the rest of our year-end awards in!!!! These are from Area VIII (for eventing); Gogo was the 5th place BN Horse for 2008, and I was the 4th place Adult BN Rider for 2008, and was Reserve Champion BN Adult Ammy BN Rider for 2008. Awesome!




One final thing: remember my post about Riding the Shod (and Previously Foundered) Horse? I've been riding Rowena (Rena for short) a lot lately, so I thought I would get a picture of her crippled self and her completely terrifying feet up here. She's an upper level schoolmaster - specifically to what level I'm not sure, but I know she was very successful to at least 4th level competition-wise and has her passage and piaffe. She's also totally crippled and I feel kind of like I might break her if I play around with some of the things she knows beyond little bits of lateral work.

Rena...


... and her FEET. Twenty minutes after getting shod. SERIOUSLY.

Wow.



It's been gorgeous here....







Gogo says, you wish you were here too.

11 comments:

dp said...

Those feet literally make me feel sick to my stomach.

Beckz said...

man I can't say i have even see feet like that on a competition horse poor baby. Gogo sounds liek she has been avery interesting ride of late lol

Stacey said...

OMG the "Don't take my pic" face is awesome! LOL!

Andrea said...

Yeah, interesting is the right word for what Gogo has been.... now that she's acting up not out of confusion or frustration, but just to be a wench, it's might be time to start bopping her over the head when she rears!

Oh feet.... this poor mare. I feel so bad for her.

Heidi said...

That farrier must not have any idea what he/she is doing! I was just helping some Pony Clubbers study for their Quiz competition and we specifically studied a picture that looked like those feet as an example of "fitting the foot to the shoe" instead of shoeing for the individual foot. Poor girl!

KT said...

Now that you have Rena a few more times since your last post about her, do you find her gait as jarring as you did the first time your rode her?

Andrea said...

No seriously, this farrier is supposedly THE authority around here - shoes all the big barns and everything. They love him and rave about him. I personally can't see why.
Then again, the poor guy has a very aggressive brain tumor and nine months ago they gave him six months to live... and somehow, he's back shoeing horses. Apparently though, they say he's just not the same guy now, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

When I rode her yesterday, I found that she felt much freer and looser than I had remembered. Then I also remembered that earlier that morning I had given her some Banamine to counter the effects of ouchy feet after getting shod. I personally don't think a horse should EVER have to need pain meds or light duty after farrier work - seriously? It's not supposed to hurt them! - but apparently it was warrented in this horse's case. And all the other horses that were shod that day too, all five of them. Everybody got drugged up and lightly hacked. I just don't understand.

Julie G said...

Pardon me throwing in my uneducated two cents in or anything.... and having never worked with a chambon... is there a way that the length on the chambon can be lengthened so that it is less "frustrating" to Go-go? Then you can build on the tension throughout the lunging session just like adjusting side reins. (Which I completely agree with your post way back when on how side reins seem to create "issues" with the head) Again, sorry but my job is working with shaping appropriate behaviors (more so with kids than horses and dogs), and based on what you've describe with the lunging situations she might need to be eased into it more?!?! You definitely know you're horse quite well. I've really enjoyed following your blog for the past month/so and am truly envious of the amount of time you have to ride, compared to my 2-3 times a week. Good luck with all your shows in the spring!

Andrea said...

Julie.... I wish it were that easy!!! Gogo's been worked in the chambon for about five months now, so it's nothing new to her. The explosions, however, are. The chambon that broke had elastic on it, but the one I'm currently using now does not, so that *may* be contributing to it, but mostly I think it's just that this is a young, very fit, very haughty mare who can be very temperamental and who had just had four days off. She was utterly perfect today, so I think she was just getting the 'high' out of her system over the past couple of days. I've found the chambon to be VERY helpful in unlocking her back and helping her stretch in a very correct way, and at this point it is the only lunging tool I ever want to use on her. She's just an unfortunate level of fit, and that combined with her attitude.... well, sometimes you just have to take the explosions with the brilliance, I guess!

Julie G said...

Thanks for the explanation... I forget how those explosions would come out of the blue with a young horse... my guy is 23 now and we rarely get those "frisky" moments anymore.

Daun said...

Andrea,
I saw your name for the year end awards while browsing through my COTH American Horses in Sport 2009 issue.

Congrats!!