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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Slutty A Go-Go

Ohhhhh Gogo. Somebody forgot to mention the fact to Gogo that mares reaaaaally shouldn't be cycling all winter long, because dropping a baby on the ground in mid-January is really just not the best planning. Nope, that evolutionary footnote went by the wayside with Gogo the second I purchased her, and she really has continued to cycle all year round for the past two years. And well, she's in heat again, now that it's early February. Surprise, surprise.

The good thing about Gogo is that being in heat really doesn't change all that much. She gets a little more distractable, she talks a lot to other horses (which she only does when she's in heat), and she, when in flaming ultra mega heat, flirts mercilessly with other mares. Yep, mares. Never geldings, only mares. One mare, in particular, is her lifelong super gay soulmate, and her name is Polly.

Polly and Gogo last winter:

(Me trying to keep Gogo clean for the show that weekend.... hence the Sleazy.)
The only mare - or horse at all - that she's EVER let come near her!!

Well, anyway. I guess I should catch up on the past few days! Last Sunday was jump day, as usual. I got up extra early in order to finish all my stalls early, and set up a really fun exercise:

And actually, that description isn't totally correct. The big X in the middle is comprised of four different jumps, which were not 2'3", but were instead set up on Bloks, which I think is very good for her because I've had her squiggle a little bit on occasion if there aren't standards. Although come to think of it, she was five when she was doing that kind of squiggling, so maybe it doesn't matter anymore. There was no squiggling for this exercise at all! It's a lead change thing - approach as indicated (say on the right lead), and land on the left. If you don't land on the left, or if your horse crossfires, make the change over the first groundpole. If you don't make it then, change over the second! A variation on this exercise (and the more 'proper' way to do it, but I did not have enough room to make it work) is to circle once you've gone over the second canter pole, then come back over it, then go to the first pole, and then take the fence away. Gogo was excellent about this exercise, excellent! She just 'got' it right from the get go. There were a few times when a few strides out she went wheeeeeeeeeeee! and pretty much doubled her stride to get to the fence, but that's what she does when she's feeling a bit fresh, so all you have to do is come back and go now wait just a minute, hold on, and she does. There was only one time where she landed from the left lead to the right (which is her harder way) where she landed on the correct lead, then crossfired over the first pole, then continued to crossfire over the second pole! Yeah, came back down to trot and tried that one again. For whatever reason, canter poles are hard for Gogo. She takes big, reaching lunges at then almost every single time, even when you ask her to wait. We'll keep working on that. The other thing we did do was approach the middle of the X of fences and take it that way, and HOLY CRAP! Talk about jumping me out of the tack, her jump over that was HUUUUUUGE! We did that a few time and called it a day. She also got her legs washed and her mane pulled, her favorite.

Monday was a hack day, seeing as it never ends up working out as a dressage day at all. We went around our usual 40-minute track up the long and gradual hills, trotting part of the way, walking most of the way back. The hills are great workouts, and she feels so fit and sound trotting out there. I'm not going to do any trotting at length on pavement, but small amounts are okay. It was freaking GORGEOUS out - almost 50 degrees!! - and the sun was shining. Aaaah, spring is almost here!

... OR NOT. The next day, Tuesday, we had a huge freaking BLIZZARD and most of our boarders had to cancel on coming out because they couldn't physically make it! It snowed like crazy all day and EVERY horse in the barn was kooky. We had a horse go THROUGH our PVC fencing (I have a picture, I'll post it later) and go running around the property bleeding, we had another horse break the the chain on his paddock gate (at a DIFFERENT time of day) and also go cavorting around, and my horse, as it turns out, is in heat. Gogo, really, in January? Well, she was awfully quick to meltdown under saddle, so we spent most of our time walking, and the walk work was all VERY good. Trotwork? Eh, not so much. She was also mega distracted by the fact that the hay guys were loading hay into the hayloft (which is very noisy) and the fact that one of the horses outside called out a few times, so of course she had to start screaming for whoever it was. She only ever does that when she's in heat! Wild woman. She also had a couple of mighty big rears for literally no reason at all that I could see. That's just what she does when she can't take it anymore... that's her escape. But really, I wasn't doing anything to upset her that I could tell. And also, I think it's more of her just acting out at harder work than anything, or her acting out at not understanding something - she just goes, I CAN'T! and throws herself around for a minute. Then, if you break it up into bite-sized chunks, she goes OH I GET IT, and the fussing stops.
Thanks to asshole trainer for teaching her how to rear. She hadn't done it in a long time, which is so weird, because the work she's done here has been BETTER than anything she's ever done in her life, WAY better. Then, she has these big explode-y moments literally out of nowhere, then settles again and is fine. Such a weirdo. She's so volatile sometimes. Before, all our work was either really good or, more often, really mediocre all summer. Now the work is AMAZING with, a couple times a week (usually not more than one or sometimes two), she BLOWS UP!

Crazy mares. And yesterday, her full-blown in-heat-ness did NOT affect her in the slightest, and Vicki said during our dressage lesson that that was the best she'd ever seen her. Powerful, uphill lengthenings, supple shoulder-ins, fluid leg yields bouncing back and forth between quarterlines, picture-perfect halts, some great stretching (yay!), some really connected transitions.. it all felt soooooo good. MARES!

Today we have another dressage lesson (yes, I'm writing this really early in the AM.... started last night, got too tired, finishing now!), and then Friday I'm either going to ride her or lunge her, seeing as Wednesday was supposed to be our lunge day and that obviously didn't happen. Which is fine... because she was great!

And whatever happened to the spring-type weather? Well, after the blizzard the temperature plummeted..... it's currently 2 degrees out with a windchill of -10. WHY. At least on Saturday and Sunday it's supposed to be almost 50 again....


Funder said...

I love hearing your descriptions of Gogo's personality! Makes her really come alive to me.

Where do you get your arena exercises from? I am afraid that I'm going to have to learn to plan out my rides like you do, and I need all the help I can get.

Stacey said...

That's an awesome exercise! I might have to borrow it!

That's funny about Gogo and her mares. Klein is the same way. Her type is Paint mares. I don't know what it is about them, but she loves her some Paint mares!

Anonyma said...

That's so cute about Gogo and Polly! I used to have a stallion that I SWEAR was gay. He would nicker at all the other guys, and turn his nose up at the girls. Chestnut geldings were his favorite.

Horses can be funny like that. ;]

Love hearing about your adventures! That's a great idea for an exercise... I think cavaletti work like that is the best for learning how to get straight. At least, for me it's been super helpful.
May have to give that one a try when the girls I'm working with are up for it.

The Equus Ink said...

Hey there! I've been reading your blog now for a couple months, I really enjoy hearing about GoGo and your many adventures with her. You have a really great writing style as well.

I'm going to have to try that exercise. Thanks for sharing.