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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Fatties Back to Work

As of Thursday, Gogo's rehab schedule has changed again, and now included one 15 minute handwalk in the AM (up from 10 mins), 10 minutes of handgrazing AM, and 15 minutes of long lining in the afternoon. She is far out enough from the injury to start toying with variations on her daily handwalks. She still needs flat ground, pavement, and straight lines, but she also is craving mental stimuation. I think she's acclimated to the whole idea of stall rest pretty well, but that didn't stop her the other day from doing some serious aerials during her afternoon handwalk. She's very well behaved about her obnoxiousness though - she might be shooting forward or bouncing off the ground with all four feet, but let me tell you something, she NEVER puts tension on the lead! Nevertheless, the last thing I want her to do is to start pinging around like that, so once she hit the 15 min 2x daily mark, I decided it was high time to start long lining/ground driving again. It was cute - when I pulled out the surcingle and the rest of the tack, her eyes about popped out of her head and her ears looked as though if she put them any more forward they'd snap right off.

(It's kind of cute actually... my whole little family minus kitten and parrot are in this picture. Dog, truck, mare, me!)
Boy those are two serious fatties right there. I myself seem to have put on 10 pounds over the course of the past 11 months and I am NOT happy about it. Despite the fact that I am half starved, the boarders are nonstop bringing Dunkin, brie, bagels, and more crap food to the barn, so that's what I've been eating, and it's really showing by now. Nobody is going to stop and look at me and call me morbidly obese, but I know the difference in myself, and that's what bothers me. Once the move is complete, I fully intend on shedding that extra grossness by being able to actually afford all sort of delicious fruits and veggies, and exercise. And as for Gogo, well, that's a bit trickier. I've cut her already meager grain ration to 1.5lbs daily spread out over 3 feedings (and remember, she's not actually getting grain at all, she's getting a ration balancer - I can't actually cut it any lower than it already is for fear that she wouldn't be getting all her daily needed vits/mins in), and she's munching on about 8 flakes of really crappy quality grass hay. I know next to nothing about our hay - no idea where it comes from, what's in it, etc - and it changes every time the supplier brings it, but there is one consistant thing about it: It's always crappy. Normally I'd be very unhappy about this, but given the circumstance, it's actually a good thing. We've been keeping Gogo happy by essentially keeping a constant flow of hay in front of her, and by having less than beautiful hay, it takes her much longer to chew on (she'd gobble it if it was nicer, this way she takes a long time to pick around her favorite parts first... she still hoovers it all, it just takes a lot longer!), and it doesn't fatten her up like a nice quality grass hay would do. Still, all that extra fiber in the form of stemminess is showing up in her increasingly pendulous belly - her colon is stuffed full! Her topline is decreasing too, but not in the way I expected. I assumed it would just melt off of her, but it's only sort of diminished to the way it looked last winter. I worked VERY hard to build a nice topline on her (the Ewe-Necked Wonder remember) so I'm very, very sad to see it go.

Wednesday, Gogo was bouncing around like a porpoise on the end of her lead, like I was saying, so I figured that with the change of schedule on Thursday, it was high time to start long lining again and give her something to do. A disclaimer for the picture: this is NOT where you normally stand while long lining. It can be very dangerous to stand this close, and it's generally much safer to stand about 6-8 feet behind the horse and off to the side a bit. We're not exactly long lining per say though... we're just ground driving. I have tried attaching the long lines at varying points on her surcingle and back to the bit, but given her tendancy to curl under and lose steering when she feels confined, I'm not willing to play with that right now during rehab, so I just run them from the bit through the side rings on her surcingle and back to me. At this point in our lives, Gogo's long lining experience includes steering and the commends walk on, trot on, whoa, back up.... yeah, that's about it. That to me only qualifies as ground driving. Still, it's something, and we're doing nothing more on the ground than just walking for the purpose of therapy (and tossing in a few halts and the occasional back up just to keep it fresh), so it serves its purpose. I see videos like this and go wow, one day perhaps, but that day is not today. (Also, those of you who know me know that I just can't stand Friesians... but I admit that what was done on the long lines with that one is pretty interesting). I don't have a clue where you would even begin to teach piaffe/passage on the long lines. Then again, I don't have a clue how you would really teach piaffe/passage at all, beyond the vague theory I've read about in books. Someday, Gogo... but not today.

Today, you and I are just going to go for a walk.

And admire the barn scenery while we're at it.

I officially move in to my new apartment on Sunday. And work begins Monday. I'm starting to get nervous at this point. Hang on to a stranger's galloping horse in the middle of the woods? No problem. Start a new job? Oh god help me. Bravery only gets you so far sometimes.


Meghan said...

Sofie has a bigger hay belly than Gogo, and she's being ridden three days a week. And if she gets free-choice hay (even crap hay) she BALLOONS. Aren't easy keepers fun?

Sam said...

:) I love it when they look excited to go to work. It just makes you feel like you're doing things right, you know?

God, that place is gorgeous! I've never seen trees with such vibrant colors.

You'll do great at your new job, I'm sure :)

Anonymous said...

That's awesome that you get to bump up her exercise! YAY!

And holy crap...what a vid. Amazing.

The pics are pretty as usual. You have some really cool scenery around there.

Good luck on Monday!

Kelly said...

Vid was alright. The changes weren't 100 percent clean. But, I'll defect to not knowing how to achieve most of that on that length of line.

Dressager said...

Greta always looks so mellow in her stall or the pasture, but you bring her out and she starts bouncing off the walls like "okay, we gonna work today? huh? huh? HUH?"

Maybe she's a dog... deep down inside.

We aren't even thinking about long lining. I still need to get lunging down!

Andrea said...

Actually I thought the video was pretty bad... mostly because everything Friesians do is ugly to me. I'm sorry, I just really find them all to be evil and worthless beyond pulling plows! But, he did lots of stuff on the lines that I would have zero idea of how to accomplish, poor quality or not.

manymisadventures said...

I've done some basic ground driving with McKinna - it's definitely fun. Really gets the gears moving, probably just because it's pretty different from everything else. Sounds like Gogo was really happy to get some more mental stimulation!

Jesse said...

Friesians are so pretty pulling a carriage, but other than that meh...

There's one down here that the owner breeds to everything. o.O

You should update and tell us about your new job. :D