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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Being Conservative

Today, Gogo and I were supposed to do gallop sets. "Supposed to" is the key phrase. Gogo, however, had some other ideas. While turned out today, she went galloping all pell-mell around and around the field (because she does not believe in heat, bugs, cold, snow, rain, or anything other than 65 degrees and partly sunny with a light breeze), running herself repeatedly into the fence until I came to rescue her. This is not actually an abornal thing - I think she's done this every single day for the past three or so days, but usually stops after a few laps... and then starts again in a few minutes, but hey, what can I say - but she was particularly sweaty and breathing today. After a cool shower, I parked her in front of the aisle fan to cool down and dry. The day was just so impossibly hot that I felt that riding her during the prime daylight hours was just cruel, and as it worked out, I had to go trailer out and rescue a stranded horse on the highway (one of our boarders had a wheel incident with their trailer while coming back from a show, and I came to save the day), so I decided to for sure wait until it cooled down in the evening to go out and do my gallops.
Well. I pulled Gogo out of her box at around 6pm, and started grooming her, new GPS strapped to my arm and ready to roll. Of course, I get down to currying her legs, and realize that the inside of both fronts are warm and a little puffy. Her hinds were a little filled too. I palpated the crap out of all four legs, and nothing is painful anywhere. I then went to stick her on the lunge to see how she was moving, and of course, she's totally sound, and the swelling went significantly down with a bit of brief exercise. She's done this before, the mystery leg swelling, so I'm not all that worried. Nothing hurts, nothing is blisteringly hot, and there is no lameness, so my impression is that by tomorrow, it'll all be gone. I poulticed and wrapped her, and I imagine by tomorrow morning she'll be right as rain.
In all honesty, while I'm sure she's totally fine, why take a chance? We lose a day of gallops, but she got plenty of galloping done out in the field (well, she did!), and really, why on earth would I take that chance in case she's NOT okay? I believe in being conservative when it comes to health. There is no reason to risk it, and if something like this were to happen before a show, I'd scratch, even though I'm 99.9% sure she's fine and will be totally great tomorrow.

Oh mare.

But I have to say this. Last summer before Gogo was diagnosed with having very mild arthritic issues in her right hock, when you put her on the lunge going to the right, you could see that it just wasn't quite the same as going left - she wasn't lame, she wasn't short striding, she wasn't hiking any hips, but she just wasn't moving quite the same way she did going the other way. I was worried today when I put her on the lunge - how would she move? She's working so hard, what if her joints can't keep up? - but not only did she behave herself perfectly, she looked honest to god sounder than I've EVER seen her. She was striding forward with power, she was smooth and even all the way around, and she just looked amazingly confident, comfortable, and SOUND. It's been a long time since I've seen her really moving without it being hidden underneath a blanket, on a poorly shot video, or through a semi-warped mirror, and I was completely in awe of just how good she looks right now. Gogo looks SO. GOOD. She's lost a tiny bit of that flub since we've pulled her off the Ultium, and hidden beneath that little layer of dissapearing fat there is rock hard, glistening muscle. Her coat is gleaming, and for the first time ever, she has dapples. GOGO HAS DAPPLES. They're just under where her saddle goes, so you can't actually see them while she's being ridden, but it's all right because I know they're there. I can't belive the amount of muscle she has on her either. Her whole body is rippling, and she has more topline than ever before. I couldn't help but smile watching her trot and canter around me in big circles. She's strong, she's brave, she's really matured over the winter and she's ready to take on the world.

After I poulticed and wrapped her, I let her loose to graze in the yard while I read a book nearly and lazed in the setting sun. I feel better than ever about Groton House, the Areas, and the AECs. We're fighting fit and we're ready to take on anything any event can dish out.

Now, I just need to get my lazy butt up away from this computer and go running. Tomorrow before work, I will! I swear! I mean it!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like she's very fit and in excellent health. I agree with you about being conservative if something isn't just right - why take a chance? Some horses just get mysterious lower leg swellings, often from heat.

It's fun to see your horse go well - and you're right, we rarely get to see it. I expect all the exercise has been good for her arthritis.

khirsh said...

Is the swelling near any old cuts or lacerations? My horse's HL leg swells time to time from what we believe is celluitis, which they acquire through wounds. He get swollen but never lame and we treat it with wrapping and DMZ.

I agree though that it could be stress related, especially if she doesn't like heat or bugs.

Andrea said...

You know, the swelling WAS near an old cut of hers, but it was lumpy, not a uniform swelling. Very weird.
But, today after unwrapping her I was delighted to find she's back to normal again and sound as can be. Yay!