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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Free Radical

Gogo has been a complete hellion these past few days. On Friday, the plan was to get back on and resume tackwalking at 20 minutes, seeing as Dr. Stewart had proclaimed her sound. Tacking up, she just had that look in her eye... that rolling, wild popeye that only she can do. To me, it looks like a Lymey eye. Given her weird mystery hock swelling (that STILL WILL NOT GO AWAY), and her irrational and uncontrollable spookiness, it is my suspicion that she has Lyme yet again. I took her to the arena, where she promptly made it to the far end and did two overrotated 360's while bolting, scaring all the other horses (and riders) in the arena. She managed to hold it together for the rest of the ride, but I had to stay exclusively at one end. She was jumping out of her skin. Today, she was scheduled to go stand around in the medical turnout outside for the first time, so I planned to get on her first and Ace her beforehand just to keep four on the floor at all times. For whatever reason I feel like I will be poo-pood for this, but seriously, I am NOT taking any chances and I am NOT about to a) get hurt or b) risk her hurting herself by leaping around like an idiot again. If she needs something to take the edge off in a rehab situation, so be it. Anyway, she treadmilled as usual this morning, and before I tacked up this afternoon, I gave her 1/2cc of Ace. She is a cheap date, so that was plenty to take the edge off, and I could definitely feel it in the way she sort of stumbled around the arena in a bit of a sleepy stupor. It was just enough to keep her from doing anything stupid, but it was not enough to keep her from wanting to do something stupid. She was still looky and spooky, in a slower kind of way. She was still kooked out when I got off, so I immediately thew on her turnout clothes and out she went, into the medical turnout.

Now, the medical turnout is tiny. It's about 20x20, if that, so it's perfect for a situation like this. The only problem is that all the four small turnouts are connected, so everyone can touch noses if they so desire. But everyone had hay, so nobody was bothering anyone else. For the first 45 or so minutes, she was an angel. She didn't try to talk to anyone, she didn't look around, she didn't move. All she did was go, hey look a giant pile of hay and I've got the munchies! and ate away. I was so excited that became part of the Paparazzi. I went inside, watched her out the window while I made grains, then happily skipped down to the other barn to make grains down there as well. Someone came in a few minutes later casually remarking that something was making horrible dying noises outside, and had been for a few minutes. As it turned out, the horse in the next field had finished his hay and went over to harass Gogo, who was none to happy seeing as the other horse was a gray gelding. When I got out there, she was turned away, eating hay, but apparently she had gone bouncing back and forth (all 20' of it) a couple of times. Sure enough, even though I got to icing the legs right away, the LH was very warm and had some fill. So what happened then? That's right, back in the mucktub! She stood quietly in there for about 30 minutes while she got cold-tubbed, and when she was done the leg was cool and didn't warm up again. She was linimented and Back on Tracked, with 10cc of banamine coursing through her veins, and I went home feeling utterly miserable.

Today, however, she looks none too bad. There is a little fill in that leg - there is always fill in that leg - but it wasn't abnormally warm and after I cold-tubbed her, it was nearly gone and the legs were both ice cold. I took her for a little walk and the fill went down as well, so perhaps she is just stocking up from moving a little more than she normally does. Really, considering the horrible leaping antics she's been performing under saddle, what did in the field yesterday was NOTHING. Then again, it was a tiny, totally non-threatening slip that caused all this in the first place, so who knows. The good news is that we jogged her this morning and she looks very sound, which I think was the biggest thing. I thought she was palpating sore on the LH SDFT, but then she palpated the same on the RH, and the RF, and the LF, so likely she's just being obnoxious. Nevertheless, I will be upping the drugs today. I still want her outside, just so she can have a little fresh air, but she will not be going out for more than 45 minutes, and she will not be going out without heavier sedation. I'm not going to chance it.

She has about had it with this stall rest thing though. Even on her very short handwalk this morning, she was snorting and stepping like she might explode at any second. Let's hope we don't have any more of THAT crap.



Peggy Archer said...

RE the slipping: Have you considered racing plates?

Seriously. They come in a dizzying variety of configurations (front half plate, front 3/4 plate, outside 1/2 plate, etc...) and they're lightweight AND they're aluminum and they don't have studs (well, some of them do but surprisingly few).

Nobody ever thinks about them but trust me the racing people have the shoe thing completely dialed.

Andrea said...

I haven't considered racing plates. Unfortunately the only thing that would have stopped a slide like the one she had would have been studs, and they likely would have either a) stopped the slide or b) seriously compounded the injury. I haven't decided if there are going to be changes to the barefoot regime because there are far too many positives to it. I think if it ever camed down to either shoeing her to continue eventing or keeping her barefoot and not eventing anymore, I'd just not event anymore. But I doubt that's going to be the case.

Shawn said...

I used to work at a big, high end rehab barn. I was always very, very anti-drugs for horses until I worked there. We drugged EVERY HORSE for EVERYTHING except handwalking. And the recovery rate there was high because of it. We started turnout in a 12x12 area and we drugged for that, and we didn't turn out in anything bigger until they were w/t under saddle (which they also ALWAYS got drugged for). (And we didn't go back to "normal" turnout until they were w/t/c under saddle). It just wasn't worth the risk - they reinjure themselves too much without drugs. So, I've changed my mind about how horrible they are. Sure, I'll still condemn you if you drug your sound horse to keep it quiet enough to ride haha, but in a rehab situation ... please don't be afraid to ace every day. It's absolutely worth it. Also, in my opinion you really need to watch the turnout in an area that big, again... drugs are your friend. :) Good luck!

coloradobecs said...

I totally understand your plight. I have been involved with 2 rehabs lately. One of my favorite geldings at my training barn decided to take a flying leap over a fence and caught himself on a t post... rehabing that was not awful, but the guy is 17+ hands and no amount of ACE would stop him from being a holy terror on the lead rope.... and under saddle forget it!
Then there was a stifle injury in a 16+ hand dutch warmblood, who under the best conditions was not well trained nor had a brain. I literlly wore a helmet while leading him on his walks because his erruptions would be violent and dangerous, and those long legs easily reached my head. Again, ACE hardly made a dent, finally we just had to tranq him. I feel for you, and I am sure miss Gogo is going crazy... she seems like she needs to be in the action!

Nicku said...

It's 5 o'clock somewhere Gogo! Andrea, you need to do what you feel keeps you and your horse safe and sound. I just finished rehabbing my mare and it was a tough process that I played by ear every single day. Some days we did ACE, some days we didnt. But it sounds like you're doing the right thing by doing what it takes to keep her as quiet as you can. Hang in there!!!

Kelly said...

Or, as we did to the 17 year old former steeplechaser, a Molotov cocktail RAT and a LSD derivative.