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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Monday, August 17, 2009


Today was one big giant WIN! It was as if karma went, well all right, you've done alllllll the things you needed to do to get yourselves back on track, here's all your good luck back now!

First, I want to know who exactly swapped Gogo out for a Ferrari overnight? I did expect her to feel better after her hock injections, but WOW, it's a WORLD of difference. It was noticeable from the get go - she was standing way more comfortably in the aisle while I was grooming and tacking, hardly resting that right hind (or the left) at all... she just stood there, four square, looking cheerful. She hasn't done that since she was 5 or 6. I got on her with the plan to lightly hack, but at the same time test the machinery and see exactly what we had. Right away, she marched off with a purpose, and we headed out to the orchard. After a nice walk, I picked up a trot, and WHOA! I didn't even realize how much she's been pulling herself along with her forehand as opposed to really pushing with her hindend, and today, she was PUSHING. It felt fabulous. I asked her to canter, and she sprang lightly into it, no moments of inversion or hesitations. She moved and turned with the slightest move on my part. She accelerated and decelerated smoothly. I moved to the driveway, most curious about that part - she has always felt different when posting on the left diagonal versus the right while traveling in a straight line on pavement, not lame per se, but different from when you post on the right diagonal. Now? Uniform, straight, and comfortable. I kept hacking up through the neighborhood, and asked her for a final test: walking down a hill. One of the things that led me to believe she did need her hocks done was her increasing aversion to traveling down hills. She was starting to shuffle, insist that we switchback instead of go straight, and slow dramatically. Today? She marched down that hill at top walking speed, in a perfectly straight line, marching with utmost comfort and confidence in herself. Wow.
So it is very clear to me that I did do the right thing. I can't remember her ever feeling this good. She must have as a 5 year old, but wow. Seriously. She was all hot and looky today, probably because she had just had three days off and magic juice squirted into her hocks, and she also spent a good part of her day trying to push the envelope with me. When Gogo isn't feeling her best, she easily relinquishes her alpha role to me and lets me run the show without her input. When she is feeling good, however, she starts trying to reassert herself in little ways, like taking a step forward into my space after I've asked her on no uncertain terms to cease movement, or moving away from her non-negotiable spot at my shoulder while I'm leading her. She wants to run the show, and she would take over in an instant if I let her. Not in a mean way, certainly, but she is the alpha mare, after all. So I have to keep on my toes with her and make sure she minds her manners. I do enjoy when she gets punky like this though, because it DOES mean she is feeling really good.

Second, USEA put out their summer edition of the Eventing 2.0 online magazine today. All thanks to Daun, Leslie contacted me about a month ago and asked if I would write for USEA's blog, which I was very excited to do. However, when I sent in my first blog piece, they liked it to much that they decided to make a whole article about us in Eventing 2.0! If you flip through the online magazine to page 28, you'll see our article and get to read a bit more about Gogo's history. I've already had a flood of e-mails about it. They even went so far as to add in additional pictures of her and I at last year's AEC that I didn't even know existed! The article looks fabulous - the bolded captions are even in baby blue! The only thing I would like to add to it was the final line of the original piece, which was removed from final copy of the article: "And nobody can stop us, any of us, if we really believe in ourselves." Add that on mentally ;) THANK YOU Leslie, and THANK YOU Daun, because I would never have made the contact if you hadn't suggested me to her. Awesome!!

Third, my awards all came in the mail today! I earned a Rider Achievement Award at the Novice level, and qualified myself for the Medallion Club level of this due to having placed in the top 5 placings at three horse trials this calendar year. Gogo and I also each earned a Gold Medal at the Novice level in the new Medal Program, due to having finished three times with a score below 35 at Novice. You can read more about the Medal Program here.


look what else came in the mail today! My custom helmet cover! It's black with light blue stars, although it's hard to tell in this picture. I got this (and Gogo's BoT hock wraps) using a gift certificate from Bit of Britain that I won last year at the AECs. Can I even say how much I LOVE Bit of Britain? I had to use the paper order form you find in the catalogue so I could send in my gift certificate, and I couldn't have sent that out more than two weeks ago. My BoT wraps? On my horse in about three days. My custom helmet cover that I doubted would even get here before the AEC? THE fastest turnaround time ever, here in about two or possibly two and a half weeks at most. I expected at least four to six, minus shipping time. You go, Bit of Britain! Eventers all over the nation LOVE YOU, and THANK YOU for sponsoring the AECs this year!

And fifth, and most exciting of all, my entry for the AEC went out today. YES. I had been stalling on this just because I wanted to make sure she was feeling back in tip top form before I sent off all that money, but everything has just seemed to fall into place so beautifully this past week. It was time. Our official countdown to Huntington Farm is 5 days, and our official countdown to the AECs is 23 days. Guys, that is a little over three weeks away. THREE WEEKS. I AM SO EXCITED YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

Tomorrow, we start back with our dressage, and will be dressage-ing through Thursday. Friday, I will hopefully have another XC lesson with Ann to really see where she is now that she's feeling so much better. And then on Saturday, we leave for Huntington Farm in Vermont, and show on Sunday. I can't help but feel positive and excited about this show. I just feel like it's going to go well.

Life is good.

Gogo and I schooling XC last year at Bath Pony Club, looking like happy clams.


Dressager said...

Haha go Gogo! That is a very well-written article. I love the last paragraph. Makes me want to event!

Whoa, that sounds like a big turn around for Miss GoGo. That is so cool that injections worked out.

Keep those posts coming! We want to see you and GoGo kick butt at AECs!

manymisadventures said...

Wow, what a fantastic article! I loved reading it - and how awesome that they put the link to your blog in there, too.

You two are just amazing :) I love getting to watch your progress and I'm always cheering for the Gogo-mare. Glad to hear the injections made such a dramatic difference.

Ally said...

Wow! You and Gogo are going to be unstoppable at the AEC's. That article was fabulous as well! Glad to see that they linked your blog. Good luck at Huntington, I'll be sending positive thougts your way on Sunday!


Hey, I've been following your blog for some time now and I'm really glad the hock injections worked so well especially after you were so cautious to use them!
Gogo sounds like such a happy mare you guys definately deserve all of your successes, and hopefully there will be many more of those to come starting with Huntington!

OnTheBit said...

That is fantastic! And after the hell you went through with the apartment and your girl (or ex girl) I still think you have some good Karma in the bank. Hopefully enough to get you something at the AEC's. This post made me smile on a crappy day so thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

You just made up my mind.

I am going to have injections done on my TB mare who was diagnosed with arthritis in her hocks in May. I finished the loading dose of Adequan in July and it has helped but I think that last boost of the injections is just what she needs.
She, like Gogo, has not been lame but you can tell something is not right. Also, she is doing the down hill sideways shuffle exactly as you describe.

I have been putting it off because of the cost. But I think it would be worth getting a few more years of solid work with her before she needs to be retired to light riding.

She is only 14 and she seems like she wants to it is my job to make her comfy enough to be her best.

Veronica Lodge said...

Sounds like a fabulous day!

Congrats hun!

Ambivalent Academic said...


Laura said...

Wow - what a great bunch of news!

Hope your next two shows/events go really well!

jacksonsgrrl said...

That is all such great news Andrea! :) Yay for you two. Glad the hock injections seem to have worked so well. I bet they will help your dressage tremendously, eh? I remember (think it was you) saying you just weren't getting the impulsion from the hind that you needed for a perfect dressage score. Well, I bet you'll get it now, eh? The setbacks keep us humble and it is all a journey anyway. When I reach a goal I always want more and better than the last, always want to learn and progress. Sounds like PROGRESS is in the future for you two mares and the AEC's will be great experience! I am so excited for you both.

Anonymous said...

YAYYYY!! That's awesome :) I'll keep an eye out for you kicking butt at Huntington ;)

Raven said...

Yay , that is fantastic news. I love following your story.

Patricia said...

Congratulations Andrea. It sounds like you made the right decision.