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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We're back in CT and okay.

Thanks to everyone who has been checking up on us. As some of you know, and as some of you don't know, Gogo went through XC feeling mentally awesome but a little unsure of her footing. As it turns out, what felt like footing uncertainty to me ended up in reality being big time tendon damage to both hind legs - we think she did it somewhere between fences four and six. But bless her little mare heart, she never said no and never gave me any indication that she was hurting in any way, even though it must have been excruciating. She just steamed right on, came in under the time and everything. It wasn't until later when both hind legs blew up that we figured out something was wrong. It just kills me to think that I had no idea on course. Had I know, I could have pulled up. But she just kept on going and I didn't know. When the legs started to swell shortly thereafter, we handwalked (didn't help), coldhosed (didn't help), iced (didn't help), and put her on the lunge, where she was very lame on both hinds. We subsequently withdrew and had the vet out the next morning to look her over and ultrasound both hinds. She strained her left hind superficial digital flexor tendon, and has minor tearing on her right hind deep digital flexor tendon and check ligament. But, the good news is that most the swelling was superficial edema, and with the fact that we caught it right after it happened and were very aggressive with drugs and cold therapy, she is expected to make a full recovery. Lots of stall rest, coldhosing, icing, drugs, and handwalking are in order for the next month (we have a very strict schedule), and we're going to reevaluate in two weeks to see where we stand. I've spent the last few days very slowly getting her back to Connecticut, and we are finally here and safe. Her swelling had gone down dramatically, and her comfort level has doubled. She was very, very sore that first day, but seems to already be feeling a ton better. We've got a long road ahead of us to recovery, but it should be all right in the end.


It realllllllllllllllllllly sucks. I don't really even care about the outcome of the show, I just care about the fact that she's hurting. I haven't even looked at results yet even. We were in 6th after XC out of 40 people, still with a 30.5, and I was the top adult ammy in my division - the rest of the people above me were pros, save for one very talented junior on a very talented horse. I was also the top Area I Adult Rider out of the whole show at that point. That course was grueling, harder than anything she's had to tackle before in her life, and she didn't look at ANYTHING at all, didn't question ANYTHING. She must have been in excruciating pain, and she kept going for me. It kills me that I didn't know. At the same time, I've never been prouder of her. That takes an outstanding horse with an outstanding heart to do that.


I'll have more about XC and the injuries tomorrow. Right now, I just want to sleep.


PS: I just looked at the results and we would have finished 4th. Out of 40. Behind 3 big-name pros. That's amazing. I'll tell you what though, I don't need big ribbons and prizes to know what an amazing horse I have. Seriously.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. You have worked so hard to get this far. My horse is laid up and our season is over. I had planned to move up to novice, but now not until next year, assuming we figure out what's going on and get him back to how he was. Don't feel bad you couldn't tell on course--how could you? It's not like something you have felt before. I doubt any of us would have been able to tell. Could luck with Gogo, and here's hoping we both have good seasons next year!

Albigears said...

Glad you're home and safe, and that Gogo's going to be OK.

Stacey said...

Thanks for the update!!! Glad to hear she is home and on her way to recovery. You're right you have an amazing mare but there's a ton of talent in her rider too.

jenj said...

So glad to hear that you are both home safe. I know how heartbreaking it is when things are going so very well and you have a horse with so much heart but their body just doesn't cooperate. You are doing right by her, don't ever blame yourself for something you didn't know and couldn't tell. I wish Gogo all the best for a full, and speedy recovery!

Beckz said...

I'm sorry she has been hurt. thats a very sucky outcome but man she has a lot of heart.

Peggy Archer said...

I know how you feel. I had a hunter mare go over a course with BIG jumps with a FRONT leg injury.

I thought the same thing - that she was unsure of the footing, and she too ran the entire course in what must have been excruciating pain, and never refused - just kept plugging onwards refusing to give up.

Mares. We may curse them at times, but they're made of iron.

OnTheBit said...

Oh dear...well I am glad that at least the swelling has gone down already. Sounds like it is healing up on its own nicely enough, but if they suggest stem cell treatment I say go for it. I cannot say enough good things about stem cells when it comes to treating tendon injuries in horses.

sally said...

Have been wondering how you were getting on all day. Have finally checked my blog. Was gutted to hear your news regarding Gogo. You guys have both proved yourselves in dressage and xc ....like you say it doesn't take a blue ribbon to tell you what a great pair you make .....speedy recovery and glad to hear you're home safe

Daun said...

You are the finest horseman, Andrea. Forgive yourself for something you could have neither prevented or seen and just focus on healing both of you.

It's been a tough year, weather it out and come out in the spring all the stronger.

Best for you and Gogo.

Cathryn said...

Anything can happen at any point on any course. That fact that you didn´t feel discomfort or pain from Gogo doesn´t mean you are a lousy horsewoman. It means your horse has super powers, LOL. But seriously, Gogo is an extrordinary horse and she is a very competitive mare. I´m glad that the issue is being resolved before it had time to escalate and that both you and her are safe. I checked the website and was confused as to why you didn´t do the show jumping.

Anonymous said...

Aw! Such a shame. But I'm so glad you're both ok

Heidi said...

Oh, Gogo! So glad she will make a full recovery! And so glad to see your update... I couldn't stop checking to see how you were doing!

SmartAlex said...

It's awfully hard to feel hind end lameness, especially when the horse is already running on adrenaline in competition mode. I've been checking this blog and the comments every hour for days, and I'm glad you guys are home safe. When your horse is injured, it makes the competition pointless at the moment, but afterwards, the disappointment sets in. But I'd say you and Gogo met your goal.

jessica morthole said...

I was wondering how you finished up and am just so sorry to hear about her injuries. You are an excellent horseman and if you had known you would have pulled up so don't blame yourself. Like you said she is one exceptional mare who wanted to do her best for you. Hope she heals quickly. My thoughts are with you.

Meghan said...

I was shocked when I read that you had withdrawn, and I hoped it was something relatively minor like a bit of heat or swelling or just being slightly "off", but I am relieved to hear that she should make a full recovery.

I kinda know how you must be feeling, because a couple of months ago I found out that my mare had painful feet due to very thin soles (and no concavity whatsoever), as well as major body issues due to tension and trying to stay off her feet. I had no way of knowing because she didn't seem footsore, but I felt terrible for riding her under those circumstances. But you can't beat yourself up about something you had no way of knowing (well, you CAN, but you shouldn't).

Much luck with the rehab process. Gogo's lucky to have a rider who cares more about their horse than a competition result.

Ambivalent Academic said...

Good wishes to you both. I'm so sorry to hear about her injury, but just to echo other commenters - I hope you're not beating yourself up over this. I've been in a similar situation - footing feels funny and the horse says no I'm fine let's keep going. No way to know. You are such a conscientious horsewoman and I'm sure that your efforts to get her right again minimized the discomfort. Glad you both made it home safely and hoping for a speedy recovery.

Yankecwgrl said...

Andrea,

A big pat on the back to you for pulling your mare. I know, you are thinking 'that's the only option'. Too many times do I hear of people 'drugging the horse' and pushing ahead with the contest anyway. Kudos to you for thinking of what's in YOUR MARES' BEST INTEREST, before the big 'prize' at the end of the contest.
Your mare is your prize Andrea!
Congrats on your two amazing rides! Follow your vet's instructions, go easy on GOGO and by next Spring you will be Kickin' Ass and Takin' names!
GO GOGO and ANDREA!

buymeaclue said...

Thank you for the update, and congratulations re: the parts that went well, and I'm sorry re: the injury, and I hope she heals up quickly and well.

- Hannah

manymisadventures said...

Oh dear. I'm so sorry to hear that, I know you must be feeling really bad for Gogo. What an amazing horse and rider pair you two are!

But- it's great to hear that she's going to make a full recovery, and good for you for being so aggressive with treatment right away. I know you'll take the best care of her possible!

Nicku said...

Hi Andrea, thanks for posting an update. Gogo is super lucky to have such a good mom. I agree with Alex that in the middle of the course, adrenaline is pumping like mad and there is probably a good chance she wasnt feeling much pain (if any). I find it odd though that with all your careful conditioning she'd have random strains and tears on course, sucks big time. The great news is it is something she can bounce back from and that is all that matters. Dont let it get you down. I'm pampering my mare too at the moment, her pesky little brother kicked her in the side of the knee last Tuesday :( More x-rays today. But just like Gogo, we expect a full (albeit slow) recovery in the coming weeks. Hugs to you and Gogo!

Anonymous said...

I also found it a bit odd that she had injuries to both hind legs, but I admittedly don't know a lot about how common bilateral injuries of this sort really are in eventing. I'm a hunter person, and I've only ever heard of one leg being injured at a time. However, I guess she may have injured one leg and then stressed the other leg trying to compensate for the first injured leg. If the adreneline of galloping cross-country is anything like what race horses experience, I'd say that it is definitely possible that she didn't feel much pain, but she may have been subconsciously compensating for her injury.

Anyway, poor little mare! Hopefully she will mend quickly and effectively!

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad to hear you're okay. Quick thinking, pulling her out before the stadium jump.

Get well Soon , GoGo! Momma knows what's best, so you let her ice those legs, hose those feets, and handwalking is *fun*!

Best of luck to ya. Had a blast reading the posts up to your show adventure, and cheers to you for a fantastic dressage score!

Hip Hip Hooray!!!

lopinon4 said...

Kudos to you for bringing her home slowly and the cold-hosing, etc, etc, etc. No reason to blame yourself for not being able to tell what was wrong...you both were very high on adrenaline (she probably wasn't hurting much at that time, actually), and like was mentioned, it's hard to feel a hind leg when you're cruising like that. All will be well, and you sure did turn out a fine showing, regardless! CONGRATS! Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery!

KowetaFancyPants said...

Don't beat yourself up about it! [repeats everything above] The most important thing is that Gogo's home and will recover- plus, she has an awesome mom who will take amazing care of her.

Been reading this blog for a while now and always enjoy hearing about a fellow barefoot eventer mare :)

Sending good thoughts your way for Gogo's recovery!

Serena said...

Mares are simply amazing. :)
You rock; so don't beat yourself up about it. Like other posters have said, she probably hardly even felt it until the competition adrenaline wore off.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Raven said...

Oh no!!!! I was so looking forward to hearing how you kicked butt too.
Wishing you all the best for a full and speedy recovery.

www.lifewithacrazyhorse.blogspot.com

Patricia said...

What an amazing attitude! I hope GoGo Mare makes a speedy recovery and is fully functional.

As an aside, I felt a similar pang of pain when one of my barrel horses popped a splint on course in spite of wearing splint boots. He too was probably in excruciating pain, but ran home anyways and finished the pattern. I am forever humbled by the amazing things horses will do for us. GoGo loves you.