Custom blog header by Bre!
________________________________________

In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


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


Monday, July 20, 2009

I will have a longer update later.

I promise to have a longer update later. Right now, I am running a sample of blood to the vet so we can pull a Lyme titer on Gogo, because at Riga we went from first place by a huge gap of points to dead last in the matter of one complete meltdown on XC over a very small, simple upbank, a question she knows and could do backwards and forwards in her sleep - it was like she reached the base of the bank and drew a complete blank, and panicked. She had an enormous fit and it's somewhat of a miracle she didn't flip herself over, because she half tried to throw herself on the ground. With the outrageous, completely uncontrollable spooks she's been doing lately, I question whether or not Lyme is finally to blame - we are, after all, only about 20 miles away from Lyme, CT, and I knew it was only a matter of time before she contracted it. I'll have more about it later.

But it's very clear to me that something is wrong with her. Normal, bold horses don't just start melting down at simple things like staircases, rocks, and up banks. We had this one, it was in the bag... and then she freaked, and it was without explanation. I will write more later, I promise. We're both okay. But, as I said, I question Lyme, or perhaps her eyes. God forbid her eyes. And if those two come up empty, then we had a very weird training issue on our hands. But she's just not that kind of horse. This isn't my horse... she just doesn't do these kinds of things.

We shall see. Off I go.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Fingers and toes crossed that she's ok!

Beth said...

Okay. When dogs have sudden onset aggression, we look at the thyroid. Might be something to look at. Best of luck!

Sarah said...

OH NO! I am so sorry Andrea. I hope you guys get this sorted out quickly. Have you thought about saddle fit? I'm sure you have, just wanted to throw that out there. I am sooooo sorry!

Kate said...

Glad you're both OK. Hope you can figure out what the problem might be.

Anonymous said...

Oh No! I saw your dressage warmup at Riga and she looked great-I'm sorry to hear the rest of your day went poorly :(

Patricia said...

Oh Andrea, that's awful. Here's to hoping it isn't equine piroplasmosis or EPM. Has she shown any stiffness or excessive shifting of weight? I hope its Lyme disease, because that can be cleared up rather quickly, whereas EP and EPM are more long lasting.

Big hug! I'm sorry about your ride and I hope Gogo feels better.

starrynights said...

I live in the Pacific NW. Lyme is pretty uncommon around here so am not familiar with it's effects on horses. But when a normally well trained horse starts behaving this way, it's been my experience they have pain somewhere.

I would check her back, hocks, tack fit, knees, etc.

I hope you get some answers soon. I love reading this blog as I am an eventing wannabe and I live vicariously through your exploits.

Good luck.

Nina said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I am glad you are both ok but yes please keep us posted. Over in Australia we don't have Lyme - I haven't heard of it over here. What is it? Can you cure it? Can they breed it on? I have all fingers and toes crossed for you!

Meghan said...

Andrea, I know I am a stranger, but I am new to eventing and draw a lot of insight and inspiration from your blog (also a barefooter!). You and Gogo have such an amazing bond- I will be thinking of you and crossing my fingers that it is a problem with a simple and quick solution.

Hang in there!

Andrea said...

Yes, saddle fit has been gone over extensively with her, and no problems there. She's not flexed positive anywhere and she's totally sound, normal, and happy in the barn. It's just that her behavior has been... well, weird sometimes under saddle... violently spooky, as in she overreacts to simple stimuli and melts down over it. The titer went in yesterday, it'll be up at Cornell today and hopefully we'll have an answer within the week. I will do a more detailed post on Lyme tonight.

Now That's A Trot! said...

Poor Gogo. Hopefully it's a relatively simple thing... Good news/bad news is Lyme is treatable, but it can also flare up again without warning. But at least if the test comes back positive you'll have an answer.

Kate said...

I have another thought - I apologize for posting twice.

For a horse that has fully trusted its rider, as your mare appears to have done, a traumatic incident can really shake them - they've trusted you and everything's been OK and suddenly something bad happens - having a rider come off can be extremely traumatic for a green or younger horse. Now they're very worried - that will come through in all sorts of ways, including greatly increased spookiness. Until they process the trauma inside, they can't reconnect or trust again.

I just attended a clinic which had a horse with these issues. I'm going to be doing a post called "The Horse That Couldn't Breathe" later this week. If you're interested, keep an eye out for it. This might be what your horse is going through - might not, too - only you can know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this! Wanted to put this out there - if you know something is not right with your horse, do not stop investigating until you have an answer. Do not let anyone tell you it is a training issue or that it is all in your head. You know her. You know what is and is not right. Do not let anyone convince you to do (or not do) anything that might put your mare at risk of further problems.

I have learned this lesson the hard way more than once, and am hoping that this time it has finally stuck.

From reading your posts, I know that you already know all of this. I also know that it helps to hear it again, even from a stranger, because horse people are a weird bunch and everyone is so sure they know what is best for your horse. You do what you know you need to do for your mare. Go get 'em and here's hoping to a speedy and total resolution.

Andrea said...

Anon, thank you for that, I really needed to hear it. I've had people here harassing nonstop about what an evil horse she is, how she needs her whole body injected, how she just doesn't understand banks, how I must be terrified of her and that's the real issue, etc etc etc.... all ridiculous things. It's nice that someone is reinforcing my gut instinct to tell them to all shut up because they don't know her like I do! It's true, horse people are all a weird bunch and everyone always thinks they know everything (myself included). It's why I never want to be a trainer or a teacher - I have no interest in the 'my way or the highway' methods taught everywhere there are horses. I have no desire to impose my ideas on anybody.

Meghan said...

I'm so sorry to hear that something's not right, but it's good that you're being proactive and not just jumping to the conclusion that "she's being bad".

A couple weeks ago I found out that my little Paint mare had very thin soles and a very tight body from trying to stay off her uncomfortable feet for who knows how long, which explained her being relaxed and loose at the walk but generally tense and rushing at the trot, and also having a less-than-cheerful attitude at times. I've got a wonderful barefoot trimmer working on her now, as well as a massage therapist, and she's already made a huge change for the better.

I've had people say stuff like, "she doesn't look like her feet hurt", but I know my horse (even though I've only had her three and a half months), and I know that her behavior didn't always make sense, and that my new farrier's assessment made complete sense. I'm looking forward to riding her again (she's getting four weeks of handwalking only) and starting on the very basics, which I've also been working on while leading her around. I hope GoGo's recovery is as speedy as she is.

Cathryn said...

I'm really sorry that the both of you had such a shaky day. Like other posters have previously said, keep following your gut instinct and get everything checked out. Even if someone tells you "Oh, she'll be fine in a few days." You know your horse and you know when she's acting odd. Keep after the issue.
I'm keeping both you and Gogo in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Andrea -

Glad my message helped. Isn't it funny how I just KNEW you'd be getting all kinds of unsolicited advice and strong-arming? Ah, so sad that horse people are so predictable. Kind of makes me want to give up horses except that horses themselves are so amazing and rewarding.

Anyway, when I am feeling pressured (mostly by my longtime trainer), I have a stern conversation with myself about being an advocate for my horse. I firmly believe that it is my responsibility to do right by him. Nothing is worse than looking back on horses past and having regrets.

I'm actually in the process of getting ready for WWIII with my trainer over a treatment decision I've made for my horse that I know is right, so I know how hard this can be.

Hey - do you have an e-mail address listed? I'd love to e-mail you, but didn't see one here. I try to keep my web presence nonexistent for job reasons. If you'd rather not e-mail, that's fine too, but I just feel funny always posting anon comments.

Ambivalent Academic said...

So sorry! How frustrating for you both. Good for you for investigating all possibilities - just to echo what anon said, you know your horse better than anyone, so it's important to trust yourself on these things. And just to throw another thing into the litany of things that might need investigation - is it possible she's just feeling a little mentally burnt out on top of last weekend's shake-up? Maybe she just needs a vacation before heading back out on the campaign trail. Like I said, you know her best, that thought just struck me because you twice described her reaction to the bank as a "meltdown", which is exactly how I describe my own reactions when over-faced with big demands and no rest in sight. Not that I think you're asking too much from her (as if my opinion even should matter), just a thought.

Ambivalent Academic said...

PS - your thoughts on having her become good and bored with Novice before moving her up to Training I think are right on. If she's feeling at all over-faced or rushed into questions she's not prepared to tackle on her confidence, then it's really really important for her to feel like she could do Novice courses in her sleep before you start asking bigger questions at the higher levels. But you know that - you said it. I just wanted to say I think that you're really smart for making those decisions now.

Sarah said...

Andrea - what aboue "mare" problems? I have heard that some mares have very "painful" ovulations....Could it be possible for her??? I know she was in raging heat at Groton House...isn't it about that time????

Val said...

Andrea,

Your blog is honest, articulate, and just plain excellent. Thank you for opening your world to your readers. You and Gogo are truly inspiring. Do what you think is best for your horse. My barefoot Quarter Horse and I wish you the best.

Erica said...

Hey there Andrea - it's Erica of the forever-ago-in-Michigan. I think nobody knows that horse better than you and if you think something's up...something's up. I'm curious about the lyme though - can it manifest neurological symptoms that quickly? I'm picking the brain of the guy who does lyme research in the department and one of the techs who's been breeding horses here for like 20 years that I implicitly trust - if I find out anything that brings some additional insight beyond what you post, I'll be sure to let you know. Great blog by the way - I was just surfing around one day and was like...hey...wait...OMG I KNOW THEM! Good luck with everything!

wolfandterriers said...

Andrea, I've nominated you for a blog award. When you have a few moments (or need a break from stress!), come and get it! :)

FD said...

Your horse isn't pastured on rye grass is she? Out of character spookyness and reactive behaviour, muscle soreness and feeling 'off' when ridden are early warning signs of a bout of grass staggers.

Cathryn said...

I've nominated you for an award in my blog. Please come pick it up when you can!

The Equus Ink said...

Andrea, I'm so sorry about what's going on with your GoGo. I hope everything is ok and works out and your back kickin' it on the xc course again soon!!

Just wanted to touch on what anon said..

You best know only YOU know you're horse better than anyone else. I too agree - don't let anyone try to tell you what to do or what not to do. Just stick to your guns and do what you feel is best.

I love your blog! You and GoGo are a great team and it's been a pleasure to follow along your journey with her.

Best,
Keri