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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Eventing-A-Gogo!

Today is the one year anniversary of the Eventing-A-Gogo blog!

I seriously cannot believe it's been an entire year since I started the blog. It began as nothing more than something to keep track of my own little successes and failures with my crazy mare. I was inspired by blogs like Daun's, and I wanted to do the same. From the first few followers and commenters (all of whose blogs I still read today), to now, when I have so many followers I can't even keep up with them, it's been a wild ride. So many ups and downs have happened over the past year, so many things I never thought would happen, could happen.... good and bad. So without further ado, here is the review of a year in the life of Gogo, from the very first postings to now:

November 2008:

Gogo and I prepare for the move to Connecticut from Michigan. We did lots of work in the chambon, went for fall trail rides, and bid ado to a barn with real places to trail ride, gallop, condition and jump. I got seriously into trimming her myself and am very glad I did. Ironically today of all days was the first time I let someone other than myself work on her feet in a year, but I'm glad I did and I will have more on that tomorrow. I get my first ever follower on the blog. Photo of my first trim on her hinds (went back and worked on the LH again, but the right hind looks pretty good):

December 2008:

Gogo and I arrive safe and sound in Connecticut and start our new New England life. Work is an adjustment for me but it goes pretty well for the most part. Gogo has her first tummy upset ever and I blog about how much I hate bran mash. I write a lot about letting go in dressage (meaning releasing her front end and being soft and forgiving with my hands), and make my views on the barefoot movement clear, and get a lot of interesting reponses which in turn make me rethink my ideas a little. I write a little about compromise, and a lot about goals. I spent my first Christmas away from my family and had to work all day all by myself, with no one but my pets to keep me company. I was very lonely but excited for the coming year.
Schooling trotwork during a lesson:

January 2009:

January gets freezing cold in CT. We hack like maniacs in the bitter cold and I get a chance to talk about how amazingly tireless the barefoot horse can be. I talk a little about ration balancers, long-term Gogo goals, and how much I missed my Metro. Gogo learned how to remove both her stall gate and the big metal gates in the paddocks from their hinges, and went wandering a couple of times. She also had a massive accident on the lunge, which was partly due to bad judgement on my part and partly due to her overreactions to random stimuli. I tried again a few times to work on the issue, but she continued to freak out and flipped herself right over a couple of times on the lunge, so we went back to rudimentary lunge work. I have since lunged her with sidereins but not the chambon. I meant to readdress this issue in the fall - meaning now - but obviously that can't happen for a good long time. A big training fail on my part, but not the end of the world. We'll correct it yet. We just have to wait til she's totally sound.

February 2009:

February acts totally bizarre. We have no precipitation for weeks and weeks and have temperature spikes into the 60's, which leads me to go to the beach, where there is a lot of unintentional rearing, delightful galloping, and an accidental swim in the ocean. I do a SWOT analysis for Gogo, it blizzards a lot, and Gogo alternates in her dressage work from amazing and about ready for 2nd level to insane and leaping around and trying to kill the other riders in the ring. We experiment with feed shortly thereafter and find that it is the Ultium making her absolutely bat-shit crazy. I get a whole mess of year-end awards in the mail from Area 8 and from the USEA... I've never gotten a single one before.

March 2009:

March doesn't start off too well. Gogo continues to be explosive until we totally take her off the Ultium (which we hadn't done just yet), and had another huge explosion on the lunge, resulting in some major chest edema that gets rubbed raw. I have some very, very bad rides but realize that all I need to do sometimes is just CHILL OUT. Gogo also had major chiropractic work done on her, which continues throughout the rest of the summer (about every 3 months) and I become somewhat fanatical about my awesome chiro. My 24th birthday happens (!!), we have our first show of the season, and I get to start conditioning canters for the first time (but then of course have to put them on hold or do them sporadically because it starts raining at the end of the month and doesn't stop until July). We get some great dressage work in, and participate in Gogo's first clinic, this one with Sharon Schnideman. I also got my new Prestige Eventing saddle (woooo!!) and sent in my entries for our first event of the season, King Oak. March might have started out crappy but it ended amazingly!

April 2009:

Gogo and I attend our second show of the season, another schooling jumper show at Mount Holyoke. It is a bit scarier than the last time seeing as we bumped up a table and Gogo apparently can really fly over 3'6", and sometimes I can not. The standards in that picture are about 4'6". The blog reaches its 100th post and has about 30 or 40 followers. It rains.... rains..... rains.... and rains, and I have to get a bit creative with all my schooling. I run a poll to see if I should do the event at Groton House or the Heidi White clinic, and I chose the show. (VERY glad I did.) The first bugs of the season come out (oh the humanity!), Gogo gets photogenic, I write about modern eventing for Daun and go watch mares kick some ass at Rolex Kentucky. I also prepare for the first event of the season at the start of the next month, and freak out a little when I find out there are 115 people competing at Novice.

May 2009:

I write a lot about Quincy, my first horse and best friend, and the long years that he has been gone. Gogo and I got our first XC school in in the pouring rain, and prepped for our first event of the season, and her first ever Novice. I about had a heartattack when I saw the course for the first time (not a move-up course that's for sure), and looking back at it now it's funny how I thought those jumps were soooo big and soooooo tough. They look like cake to me right now. After months of preparation, Gogo and I take on our field of 20 to win our first ever Novice (her first ever, my first in several years) on our dressage score of 31.1. I get my new truck (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I get to clinic with Kerry Milliken and have an amazing weekend of trail riding and yoga, and we prep for our second event of the season. We attend the Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. and have a repeat win, this time on our dressage score of 30. I am on cloud 9 like you don't even know.

June 2009:

Gogo turns 8 years old on June 2nd. We start hacking religiously to Dunkin Donuts, and are really in the swing of a weekly conditioning schedule: three days of dressage, one 2-hour conditioning w/t hack, one gallop day, and one jump day. I start to get nervous as I get e-mails from the secretary at Groton House saying they've received my entry but they were overbooked on the first day and needed to do a draw, so we waited on pins and needles for about a week. And then.... WE GOT IN! I start to have deeper concerns about Gogo's hock changes, I get creative with my gallops when the field we were using didn't get mowed for a long time, Gogo jumps her first corners, and a pipe bursts in my room and floods the entire house. (I spend the next two months sleeping miserably on the unconfortable couch with all my stuff piled into a heap in the living room, sneezing and wheezing as the humidity sends my mold allergy into a frenzy.) I joke about gayness. And then the highlight of the season happens.... we attend and have a three-peat at Groton House Farm H.T., beating out everyone in our very competitive field of 23 to win on our dressage score of 31.5. Daun and her SO come to cheer me on, and I am on top of the world. Life could NOT get any better. (So of course from here on out it gets worse.)

July 2009:

The blog gets plugged on the Eventing Radio show, and on COTH as well, and I write an article about Gogo for the Eventing 2.0 online magazine which gets published. Gogo has been exceptionally hot and spooky lately, freaking out at simple things like Lynnie's staircase and stormdrains, but I think nothing of it at the time and continue to prepare for the Area I Novice Championships at Old Chatham. I spend the week leading up to it feeling stressed and unprepared, and end up choking on XC when Gogo has an uncharacteristic spin out at fence 4 and I get pitched. I chalk it up to a freak thing and prepare for the following weekend's event, Riga Meadow, but Gogo has another totally out of the blue spin at the upbank (wtf simple!), and I start to think something is very wrong. As it turns out, something IS wrong, and she has a Lyme titer pulled and we start her on Doxy. I also get to partake in a clinic with Eric Horgan, and she is great for those two days, but worsens and struggles with the Doxy at the end of the month.

August 2009:

I struggle to get my spirits back up, and simultaneously treat Gogo for Lyme and for potential stomach issues with the addition of aloe juice to her diet. She makes a TOTAL behavior turnaround with the combination of these two things, and I also bite the bullet and inject her hocks for the first time ever. I struggled long and hard with this decision and it was not made lightly. My good karma returns when a whole bunch of good things happen to me, including getting TWO Gold Medals at the Novice level, one for Gogo and one for myself, and we also get a Rider Achievement Award at Novice as well. Gogo's attitude and amazingness returns in full, and we almost win the Huntington Farms H.T. but end up in 5th instead after a rail in stadium (but a blog reader wins our division so that's ok!), and she has a foot-perfect XC which is all I cared about. I go into overdrive preparing for the AECs. We are back in winning form and ready.

September 2009:

The AECs are upon us and we finish preparing and packing. We put down Lynnie's horse Max and it was one of the most peaceful things I've ever seen. We travel and travel, and make it safe and sound to Lamplight. We have a pretty good dressage test and end up in 7th out of 40 people in our division with a 30.5 (imagine if she has actually BEHAVED during the test what our score would have been!), and we make the wicked sick XC look easy. But something is wrong. She is a little odd on XC but tackles everything with ease, but back at the barn those hind legs blow up. As it turns out, she has done bilateral tendons behind on XC. We pack up our stuff, withdraw, and make the long, miserable, and painful journey home. Lots of icing, wrapping and anti-inflammatory drugs occur for the remainder of the month. Gogo has a bad reaction to a vaccine and spends three days trying to die on me. I am a miserable girl.

October 2009:

We make plans to leave CT. We are both broken and need a break. The injury gets isolated mostly to a lesion in her SDFT in her LH, but both SDFTs have some tenosynovitis, which is confirmed by Tufts. We traveled there to do PRP on the lesion, but there is such marked healing the a week and a half between ultrasounds that we decide not to do it. I go up to Daun's and get to eat some amazing food and gallop the Big Perch himself, measure a year in the life, secure a new well-paying barn manager job, go foxhunting for the first time (and am officially hooked), get back to long-lining my mare, catch ride Brego in the New England Hunter Trials (and kick ASS even though the judges hate us), and move. All in all, October is by far the best month I've had for a loooooooooooooooooong time.

November 2009:

I settle in to my new job, and Gogo gets move into a beautiful barn. Gogo gets treadmilling every day, and we start tackwalking again, but after some serious explosions just the other day, we're backing off to just treadmilling until we can get back up to Tufts and confirm whether or not the tendon is still healing nicely or not. Life is very good and it really feels like we've come full circle. The blog has 111 followers, we've had stories published about us, been plugged all over the web, met some amazing people, made some fast friends, and have loved every minute of sharing all our ups and down with all of you.

Happy Anniversary, Eventing-A-Gogo! Here's to another year of more ups, more downs, more friends, more fun, and MORE GOGO!


Erica said...

Congrats, Andrea! It's been really fun watching your progress over the summer and I really hope to catch you guys in action again next show season. This blog is definitely one of my favorites - actually the only horse one I read. You're a terrific writer, happy one year anniversary!

lopinon4 said...

What a busy year you have had! I've only been following your blog for a few months, but I have gone back and read every post. It's been a fascinating and eventful (no pun intended) journey to follow you. I will be here from here on, so please know you have many folks pulling for you and Gogo!

Serena said...

Definitely. You and Gogo are the greatest!

Heidi said...

It's been fun following along with you! Can't wait to see how much changes in another year ;-)

Bailey said...

Beautifully written year in review. I've enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to where you and Gogo go in the future.

Nicku said...

Congrats! What a thoughtful post and a fun read. I think I picked up reading about you and Gogo right after you won all those awards. I cant believe it's been that long honestly! Thinking continued healing wishes to your pretty girl!

Sharon said...

Happy Blog Birthday!

It is just amazing to see how much has happened in one year. Now, y'all keep on postin', ya hear? The world needs to know about the wonders of bay, barefoot, bat-crazy mares!

Funder said...

Happy Anniversary! I refuse to believe it's really been a year. I have really enjoyed watching you and Gogo change for the better over this time, and I hope this next year is even better.

Lexie said...

Three cheers for Andrea and Gogo!!!

I've really enjoyed reading all of your ups and downs. I have never wished for a happy ending harder than while reading your blog. If you ever need anything from someone in Canada, you have a groom/gopher/cheerleader! Keep it up! And keep getting better Gogo!

heater said...

I don't know if I've ever commented before, but I never realized how long I'd been reading your blog until now. You and Gogo are such a fabulous pair! It's been so fun reading about you both. :)

manymisadventures said...

Happy anniversary! I have been following you guys for...a long time now I think, because I remember reading almost everything you talked about in this post. It's so great to see what goes on with you guys and all the progress you've made.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late but, Congrats! I look forward to reading more as always!

hosschic said...

Amazing year as has been said... and alot can happen in a year.. which goes by in a flash doesnt it?

I started my blog a the same time for the same reasons but also because of unemployment and trying to justify what I would do with my days.

I could only wish to have accomplished as much as you in a year and look forward to another year in our horse world.

ENJOY every day!