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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Friday, April 17, 2009


The title is pretty much Gogo's reaction to springtime, in a nutshell. BUGS! NO, NOT BUGS! SAVE ME FROM THE BUGS! She went out without clothes on for the first time all year (yay!) on Thursday, and less than an hour into her turnout I heard thundering hooves. I looked out - it wasn't anybody in the front two fields. Well, that meant it was Gogo. What was she doing? Running around at full tilt, smashing into the fence, performing back-cracking aerials, and screaming her head off. I went over there to try and comfort her, and she stopped running while I was there, but was still flinging her head around, swishing her tail, stamping her feet, and biting at the bugs. Violently. She had bug spray on! She quieted down and went back to munching hay, so I started to leave. I got about 10 feet away before she started galloping around like a crazy woman again, and I finally had to just bring her in because she was going to run herself into the ground, or hurt herself. She had already adorned her hock with a new wound earlier in the day when she tweaked out at another horse while in the crossties. I didn't see the incident, but I heard the other horse squealing like a pig and a lot of crashing and clambering, and I came out of the tack room to find my horse with one broken crosstie, standing there looking rather terrified. She had a big ol' bloody cut on the back of her hock.... nice.

She's been a little kooky lately. She just was buggin today about the little gnats flying around her face while I was riding. I adorned her with this stupid thing today:

To no avail really. She was really quite good at the very end of our lesson, but it took 50 minutes to get there, and I ended up riding her for almost an hour and a half, not doing much more than w/t/c and some leg yields. The work was REALLY quality and REALLY good, and our trot-canters especially were amazingly excellent, but thrown into all of that goodness was a lot of bug-related twitching and some flailing too. I know that this happens every spring and once she gets used to them, she'll be fine, but it's a bit annoying for now. My ride on Wednesday was also very good, mostly. I felt though that today's gait quality and transition quality was higher, although the degree of difficulty in the work we did was a lot less. Really, with all the buggy nonsense I felt it wasn't worth it to do beyond w/t/c and some leg yields today. And she agreed.
And then, in the crossties after our ride, I grabbed her halter a little too hastily when I was going to brush her face, and she tweaked, sat back, broke her halter, and walked away. I caught her, brought her back, and put her in the stall to finish grooming. I put another halter on her and was working on groom, groom, put your head down, groom, put your head down, etc, and she was being totally fine. I said, oh mare, what am I going to do with you? and hugged her head. Suddenly, I found myself literally in the rafters - she had freaked about that too and had lifted me like 8 feet off the ground with her head. Chiropractor, anyone? Gogo, WHY? Sometimes, there is no answer.

We also had gallops yesterday, and she was excellent. We upped the ante a little:

Walk hack to field (15 mins)
4 minutes trot
1 minute walk
4 minutes trot
1 minute walk
4 minutes trot
2 minutes walk

4 minutes 350mpm canter
2 minutes walk
4 minutes 350mpm canter
2 minutes walk
4 minutes 470mpm canter
2 minutes walk
1 minute 520 gallop
2 minutes walk
1 minute 470 canter
Walk hack home (10 minutes)

She was superb. Absolutely superb. Unfortunately, she remained gallop-y during our lesson today - hence why it took 50 minutes to just chill out - but there you have it, I suppose. She was totally happy to just book around the field like a wild woman. And tonight I ordered a GPS watch off of Ebay! It's a decent quality one that I found for CHEAP, so it might be caca after all, but here's hoping we'll be able to at least gauge our speed.

The Novice tests are simple. 20 meter circles, w/t/c, serpentines at the trot, and going across the diagonal. It's really no more complicated than the BN tests. So at this point, while I'll keep gymnasticizing her laterally and longitudinally through all our sideways and forward-and-back movement, the main focus for the beginning of summer is quality of gaits and transitions. As long as we can keep our relaxation, we'll sail through those tests like they're a piece of crumb cake. (Although now that I think about it, how DO you sail through a crumb cake?)

And we MIGHT get to go x-country schooling on Monday!! Although we actually might not... it might rain on Monday. We are running out of time here... I can only school when Shannon can go with me, and I can only school when the weather cooperates. Between the two of those things, we've not been able to get out for a single schooling yet this year. We won't be able to go next weekend because of Rolex (YAY ROLEX), and then after that, we'll have less than two weeks to get a schooling in. So cross your fingers, or else King Oak might be a little... erm.... wild.


ROLEX!!!!!!!!!!!! Rolex is in FIVE DAYS!!!! I am so excited to go, you don't even KNOW! It's SO much fun and if you've never been, take the time to do it next year because it's WORTH IT. I'm gathering up a laundry list of things to shop for while there, and so far we have at least a new schooling dressage pad and some rad polos, and since I have money from the saddle that I sold, I can actually GET that stuff! Although that being said, Ebay's got some great deals... but getting them at Rolex is way more fun anyway.

I'm rooting for The Good Witch at Rolex. She is an incredible mare - was actually USEA's Mare of the Year for 2008, and was short listed for the Olympics - and had a great showing last year at Rolex, where I fell in love with her.

Here's the best part - she looks just like Gogo!

MARE POWER! I'm totally making a shirt.


Funder said...

"She's been a little kooky lately." Understatement of the year! ;) Gogo's train of thought must be hysterical. Kill other horses, run from bugs, show mom that the halter is possessed...

I get the feeling that Gogo already does dressage better than most eventers. She's really a fantastic all arounder, actually. Just a little kooky.

*Sharon* said...

YES! put me on the list for a shirt. I didn't want to get a mare, but she filled all the other criteria and she has given me so many good days. And some not so good ones, but I wouldn't be without her.
Go the Girls!

Andrea said...

Funder: can I quote you on that? Seriously, I'm putting that somewhere on this blog because that is SO HER in a nutshell. I feel like that weird kookiness is what gives a really top horse their star quality - if you can harness it, you can do anything!

We'll make a fan club Sharon. The Kooked-Out-Mares-Of-The-World club! Complete with shirts and cookies at meetings!

Beckz said...

She does look like Gogo. I must say mares are the bomb, they always give you a bit more even if they are more difficult.

Stacey said...

I'll take a mare power shirt!!!!!!

Jenn said...

Oh, she does look just like the Good Witch! I'll bet they have a shared ancestry.

Gogo sounds a lot like my old mare, Star. Kooky and reactive, but when she set her mind to working she was amazing! It was just getting her settled to that point so she could do amazing.

My current love, Gabe, is also very, very reactive to bugs and can get quite distressed about them. A fly sheet (with the neck attachment), fly mask and a permethrin-based paste repellant on his legs does wonders for his spring/summer happiness.