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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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Monday, November 30, 2009

Super Prix!: A Guide to Mid-21st Century Dressage

As a bit of entertainment, I offer you this complete and hysterically tragic piece of satire: The Super Prix!: Your Guide to Mid-21st Century Dressage. There was a bit about it on Eurodressage and I had to look into it further. It's remarkably witty and a little bit sad at the same time due to the truth in it. I'm sad because I can't figure out why there aren't proper links to such interesting class descriptions as the Pirouette to Infinity, Perpetual Piaffe and Most Extended Trot. Seriously, go check it out and laugh, shake your head, and grimace with every new description. It's spot-on.

In other news, Gogo neither went outside nor got ridden today. It was raining hard all day and it was my assumption that the drumming of rain on the roof coupled with the wind rattling the doors might turn her into a ticking timebomb. No sense in tempting fate now is there? She did, however, go on the treadmill as per usual and also moved from the New Barn to the Red Barn, which is where she was when we first moved there. She is in a much better stall than she was before - very large, very bright, very airy, and had two windows as well as a stall gate. She seems pretty happy and is free to try and eat the horses that walk by her stall to the indoor arena, whenever I am not around to yell at her. Tomorrow I will likely just treadmill her again, as well as bathe and clip her in preparation for our vet appointment at Tufts on Wednesday. I'm unwilling to do more than that until I actually see the new ultrasounds and what her level of soundness really is, as well as get their opinions on that crazy hock of hers, which does look better but is still not normal. I'm really, really nervous.


Regardless of level of eventing soundness that she returns to, I'd really like to try a competitive trail ride next year. And I want to teach her to drive. And I want to cut cows with her, just once, just to say we did it and to see what she'd do. I want to overnight camp with her. And multi-day trail ride with her. And go swimming at the beach.

But right now, I'd settle for a nice, quiet walk. That would be great too.

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.

Oye.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks.

I have a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful that, despite all the problems she has been having this year, I have a healthy, happy horse.
I am thankful that I have one very fluffy cat cleaning herself on the couch next to me, and one very sleepy greyhound snoozing on the floor at my feet.
I am thankful for all the good luck I had this show season, and all our successes.
I am thankful for all the bad luck, because it humbles and gives me perspective, and makes me appreciate all the good luck.
I am thankful for my horse's healthy, strong bare feet.
I am thankful for my own health.
I am thankful that I have a great place to live and a great, pretty well-paying job.
I am thankful that even though my parrot isn't here with me, he is happy at my parents' house.
I am thankful for all my supporters and friends all the way around the world.
I am thankful that the future is looking very bright for all of us, despite all our struggles.





From Gogo, Ti, Greta, Saba, and myself, Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you all have plenty to be thankful for too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

JOY!

Day 4 of the mystery hock swelling is here and I still had no answers, so when Dr. S came out to pull a bunch of Coggins for the Florida horses I had him take a peek at the mystery hock to see what he thought. I told him I had no idea if she was sound or not but I had no other clues for him, so he was like, well let's jog her. So I did, and she looked good in hand but really all I could see was her front half, so I wasn't sure. He thinks the swelling might be a residual grossness from a perpetual hocksore scar that she's had for years and years (and never caused an issue before) but has opened a little recently. He told me it's not going to go away until she gets into a regular exercise program, to which I said well, is she sound?

AND HE SAID YES!

Yes, finally that time is here - she's sound and looking very even and good, he said. We're still going to Tufts for a better evaluation but I have no reason to think I can't start tackwalking again, picking up at 20 minutes where I left off, starting probably this Friday when I get back from my Thanksgiving capers. He gave me a long-winded explanation about how sometimes it's impossibly hard to tell on ultrasound whether or not a horse has really just bruised a tendon or really torn the tendon - perhaps her injuries were not as serious as we've been treating them. I'm not going to treat them any less seriously though. With her wraps off after we jogged her, the area below the swollen hock started to fill, which wasn't alarming but I certainly don't want to take chances, so we're continuing with icing and wrapped as per how we have been doing it. She has an appointment for December 3rd at Tufts, so we'll see what they say then! I don't expect the swelling to go away anytime soon, so I dunno what I'm going to go about that. I might try Doxy again in case this IS another Lymey flare-up... you never know.

But YAY GOOD NEWS! And after work today, I am going to Daun's to go cap in tomorrow for the final hunt of the season! MORE good news! And then it's Thanksgiving and I have that day off too! EVEN MORE good news!!


I am so getting Taco Bell today.




(Gogo the day I bought her.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tarsus... I don't even know-arsus

So we all know Gogo likes to keep me on my toes, right? Well last night she upped the ante... AGAIN. She came out of her stall fine, went on the treadmill fine, wore her ice booties fine, peed all over her neighbor's face because she's in flaming heat, and then when I pulled her out of her stall to groom her in the afternoon..... HUGE ENORMOUS BALLOON HOCK. It was only on the outside part of her LH, and it was hard. It wasn't hot. It wasn't painful. She wasn't lame. She had no temperature. It wasn't sore. It didn't go down with coldhosing. It didn't go down after a night of poultice. It didn't really go down after a 500lb. dose of banamine in the morning. It sort of went down with treadmilling today, but not really. It was totally localized to the hock yesterday, but today it went creeping down her leg and now the upper part of the outside of her LH is filling slowly but surely. I wanted to sweat it tonight but knew she wouldn't keep that on, so I poulticed it and the rest of the leg tonight again, along with more banamine and coldhosing. Wtf, what is going ON? We'll see what it looks like tomorrow but geez. I thought maybe she kicked the wall but she's in flaming heat, I wouldn't think she would have? I dunno what the crap she did to herself. I could find no indication of a wound anywhere either.

Seriously, Gogo. You are KILLING me here! If it's still big tomorrow I'll get some pictures. I'm stumped here.




In other news, for the first time in a year I actually let someone else work on my horse's feet for a change. And that person also shoes... so that was a BIG DEAL to get his particular opinion. This guy has a very interesting history - he very nearly hung up his anvil and nails to do totally barefoot stuff, but couldn't figure out how to make it work in New England. Verrrrry interesting, as this is the question I always get as a barefoot person in this particular area. Because really, let's face it, wild horses are not frequently found in the wet, rocky forests of New England. A natural trim is universal, but so much of it is environment, and this environment is just that - wet and extremely rocky. Feet have a hard time drying out and toughening up here, and soft feet don't play well with big jagged rocks. Hell, shod feet don't play well with some of our rocks either! So every time he comes to do horses, we always get into these really animated discussions about what is out there that works better than shoes. He keeps everything in the barn bare that he can, and he does a very nice natural trim. So, the last time he was out (Tuesday) I asked if he would look at Gogo, who was due for a trim (only 3 weeks out too... she is spitting out foot now that she's not wearing it off). She has a very odd crack in her foot that looks like trauma but I, again, have NO IDEA as to how or where she could have done this. I wanted him to check it out. As it turns out, he had quite a lot of pointers for me, and so I at one point just said well, do you want to just go ahead and trim her and show me what you mean? Of course, at that exact moment in time my boss came in and asked where her next horse was, so I had to go start tacking. And then I got a ring from one of the employees saying he couldn't catch a horse, so I had to go help him. By the time I got back up to the barn, the trim was already complete... damn. He did some things I wasn't sure I liked - for example, he rasped off all her remaining raggedy-hangy-down periople, something I've never done because why do it? To his credit he was working down some flare so I guess that's how that worked. He also took the heels way down on her clubby foot, maybe a little more than I ever felt comfortable doing, but her feet do look very nice. I was thinking for the first few days she *might* have been landing a little flatter versus more heel-first but I could be imagining that because I want to find faults here. Other than being more invasive than I would have been, I think he did a very good job - left that tasty sole and frog totally alone and just worked exclusively with the wall that needed to come off. We'll see what kind of growth she puts out in response to this trim - but who knows, maybe that heel really was ready to just come off for good and I was not skilled enough or comfortable enough to take it off myself. Time will tell. That being said, in general I can NOT believe how much those heels have come down over the past two years, all of them. They look fabulous.

Top picture was from the other day, and the bottom picture was from December of 2007:



Good picture of the removal of the raggedy periople. Don't really think that was necessary but there is still plenty of it left so there you are. RF looks a little weird in this picture because of the Tuff Stuff on it and for some reason the stain on it makes it look like her heel is running under... I can assure you that isn't the case!






Quite interesting to see just what is going on with those cracks. They were hard to see before. The one on the LF is pretty much totally closed almost, and the one on the RF is tighter than it ever was and looking way less threatening than ever before. Score!


And how do we battle the wet stall? With some super fun soaking and a layer of Desitin slathered on her already cleaned and treated frogs every couple of days... sounds totally odd but it does help keep the urine and ammonia out.







And of course, her tail is still gorgeous even though all the rest of her seems to want to fall apart on me every second of the day!





Gogo is great at this sort of thing though.... random mystery swellings that don't cause lameness or pain, which all seem to resolve themselves within a few days. So let's hope this is more of the same.

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!

Monday, November 16, 2009

She's a maniac, maaaaaaniac!

Remember how I was raving about how perfectly behaved my horse has been during this rehab? How angelic she's been, how perfectly sensible and sweet? How I've needed to wear spurs because she's just too darn lazy otherwise? Today, she set out to change alllllll that. And I have battle wounds to prove it.

It started out in a benign way. Gogo had her usual morning treadmill and was, as usual, a sweet little angel while I was tacking her up later that afternoon. When I went to get on her, she seemed a little up but nothing out of the ordinary, until we got to the far end of the outdoor. There, a squirrel went darting up a tree, and she about jumped out of her skin. Uh oh. I picked up contact, we settled into some real walk work on straight lines, and she settled. We had almost reached the 20 minute mark and I was about to get off and call it a day when suddenly, out of nowhere, a bunch of deer came crashing through the woods behind us. Gogo whirled around to face them with her tail flipped over her back, something she has never in her life done EVER, not even when being chased in the arena by Very Scary Things on purpose to make her have a Big Floaty Trot. Which never works because she's not interested in such things. I could feel her heart banging in her chest and went, oh dear this can only end in tears. Okay Gogo, just focus on me for a minute longer and we will just walk a big circle and then I will get off. She does a very big fancy walk around 3/4 of the big circle, and just as we are coming around to the end of it, she absolutely LOSES it and bolts. She only gets about a stride or two out, hits my contact, and rears. Hi-yo Silver rears. Apparently, my instict for getting out of her way is alive and well, because I twisted to the left and took the brunt of her head to my neck and ear versus straight in the nose. You can see in that picture, which was not of this particular incident, how she can really put her head in my lap when she wants to. Idiot. Well anyway, so now I have a throbbing head, and an aching hip that made a very ominous popping sound when I torqued it while twisting out of the way. I shifted back in my saddle when she was on the ground (and totally immobile again, of course), and it popped back into place. THAT can't be good. I was also disturbed to find a bit of blood with the ear injury... that can't be good either. I'm fine, really I am, but for real Gogo, you can't do that crap. You just... CAN'T.

I walked around for another circle, because I'll be damned if I dismount after that, and was satisfied and got off. With mare in tow, I took the pitchfork over to the pile of poop that she had left in the corner of the arena, and scooped it up with some difficulty. I went to turn around and lead her back over to the muck bucket, and she tweaked again, this time bolting forward, hitting the reins, and rearing and backing away at high speed, which sent the shit in the pitchfork sailing in all directions. Nice. She snorted and jigged all the way back to the barn - seriously, what demons posessed my horse today? - and then of course was totally quiet back at the barn. Me being in slight panic mode wasted no time immediately icing her legs and sticking her with Banamine right away. She can NOT pull that kind of crap with an injury like this. Metro reinjured himself bouncing around like an idiot, and he's in a hole in the ground now because of it. I am NOT taking any chances anymore. Her grace period is over, and if there is no abnormal swelling or heat tomorrow, she's getting Aced before I get on. This period in her rehab is extremely important and so many things can go wrong right now. I'm on pins and needles every day worry about those legs. We will see what they look like tomorrow and whether or not I will give it some more time before I get back on. I am trying to keep it all in straight lines, or reallllly big circles if I have to stay on a curve for more than a few moments, but I've been walking her on contact because she tends to sloppily weave like a drunk all over the place if she is on the buckle. I can keep her straight on contact. But I don't want to push it and do too much too soon. I don't know. Poor Gogo. And my poor head. It's quite possible that I'm just going to back off and give her two more weeks of nothing but treadmilling. There's just no sense in letting her do something stupid and being back to square one, or worse. She's far too nice of a horse for that. Maybe if I get rich quick at my new fancy job and she looks like she'll be out for longer than I had originally planned, we can have Gogo babies instead? We shall see. She's a once in a lifetime horse, so I really have no reason to be anxious about a healing timeframe.





Oh Gogo.





And by the way, tomorrow is the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Eventing-A-Gogo blog. That, my friends, is incredible.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lady Gogo's Bad Romance

It's true. Gogo has a new love interest. Gone are the days of being a manhating, greyhating witch. Her nextdoor neighbor James? Oh she just loves him. James is both grey and male, so I'm not sure what happened to change her mind. Anyone who knows her can attest to her former viciousness towards all things grey. Then again, she used to also hate all things chestnut, but after Sinatra, Harley, and her late love Sonny, that seems to have changed. At least she seems to be raising her standards though. James is a nice guy. Sonny wouldn't even take her out to dinner. HE only wanted one thing, you know what I'm saying? (To kick her head in.)

In other hodgepodgey news, yesterday was the glorious Equine Affaire in MA, and I don't care what you all heard, it was neither small nor lame! We ran around starry eyed shopping for like 6 hours, and that didn't include stopping for lectures and demos (none of which we really got to see). We also got to watch the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, which I am totally going to do next year with Gogo. It looked like all kinds of ridiculous fun. Riders had to jump jumps, pick up pumpkins in a wheelbarrow and wheel them somewhere else while there horse stood there, ride through a tent of waving streamers, pick things up and put them elsewhere, and more. Totally could have done all of it with Gogo. I also got to splurge a little given the size of my first paycheck, which was GREAT! Gogo got a new Himalayan salt lick, Back on Track no-bows (buy a pair get a pair free!), Sore-No-More liniment (pretty much the only kind you can put under Back on Track wraps), a new blanket liner from Schneiders (because I don't have a medium... it's either freeze under your sheet or roast in your heavyweight), and a new neck cover for her heavyweight (because she shredded hers last year). I got a new Holsteiner decal for Patron, and also took a step towards treating myself and my body better, which is my new goal now that I can afford it, and bought myself a Back on Track back brace. I don't know what's wrong with my back but it's NEVER right, and it hurts ALL the time, which is miserable. I need a good chiropractor and am getting the name of one from my roommate, so hopefully maybe next week I can get adjusted, but until then (and after), I have this to help support me and make me feels better. And it DOES feel great, I can tell you that much. Only problem is that it came with a warning - "May cause discomfort or pain shortly after first usage." And oh my GOD, when I took that thing off last night? Crippled. It was awful. However, I feel much better this morning, so let's hope my back will adjust to its newfound bloodflow and feel better within the next week or so. I've also been drinking lots of organic tea and fresh salad, and am going grocery shopping tomorrow for the first time in almost four months. Life is good. I figure if I really want to be a farrier, then I need to treat my body right. And next week? I get to start taking regular yoga classes! Hooray!! I also got to see several people I haven't seen in a really long time that I miss very much (hi Chantel!!!!!!!!!!!!) and that totally made my day too.

Something else interesting happened at the Equine Affaire - I had a chance to really talk to KC La Pierre of the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry. While I don't know much about the school or what they teach/preach, I've maintained a healthy interest in their Perfect Hoof Wear system. It's similar to hoof casting, but it's less rigid and had a little flex to it. I never looked further into this because the system was not appropriate for working on blacktop, nor did it really look like it could give the traction I would require and wasn't designed for the jumper. However, KC showed me the not-yet-released Pro Kit, which he had the parts for there with him. It's very interesting - it still had the same adhesive wrap, but it includes a black plastic piece fitted to the bottom of the foot that gets included with the wrap. The plastic piece is hard to describe, but it looks similar to a typical glue-on... it's just a different mechanism. Interesting... I can't find anything on the internet yet about it (they said it will be available to the public in 2 weeks), so I have nothing to show you yet, but I will keep you updated.



Gogo's under saddle work continues to go well as we enter week 2 of back of work, ish. Tomorrow we will be walking for 20 minutes, an increase of 5 minutes just as we planned. The legs continue to look good, probably as good as they ever will, and she started using the Back on Track wraps today for the first time. So far so good. She is very sound at the walk, which makes me a happy kid. What does NOT make me a happy kid is the current shavings situation in my stall. At the other barn, the rule was to have like a foot of shavings in every stall, seriously. It was a bit insane but it kept her feet high and dry (literally) and therefore worked out okay. But at the new barn, with the ComfortStall system, they use way fewer shavings, just enough to soak up the wet stuff. In theory this works, but in practice it just doesn't work at all. Gogo's stall, always bone dry when I leave at night, is SOAKING wet every morning, so much so that it bubbles and squishes underneath her feet. She is standing in her own filth and the guys don't usually get to her stall until almost 10. I can counter this by cleaning her stall myself, but it still doesn't solve the issue if I can't use as many shavings as I need to. I'm going to ask if I can pay for some extra, or just tell the guys to add more to her stall, because it's bad. Her feet are just melting and it's horrible to watch. I am fighting a losing battle with them and it's a nightmare. I can't keep them dry, so it's all I can do to at least try to keep them clean even if that means they're still wet. I must find a better solution for all this. It's driving me completely insane.


Last but not least, here's a little Perch eye candy for those of you Brego fans from when I rode him in the New England Hunter Trials:






That was one amazing ride. Even though the judges hated drafts. A-holes. We were awesome.






Who wants this browband for Christmas? Yes ma'am, I do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gogo's Paradise

Just a few pictures of Gogo in her newfound paradise:







Just wanted to share.





The treadmill:

video



And Gogo's reaction to being saddled for the first time in almost two months:



That is one happy horse. Today will be her fourth day under saddle again, and she's doing very well. She has, of course, settled right into the routine and is more than happy to do the slug walk around the arena (per vet's orders... we mosey, not march.) and had even garnered such thrilling comments from my boss as, ".... she does wake up to fences a little more, right?" Nobody can believe that a) she's been on stall rest for two months, and b) two years ago she was almost totally unrideable. If she was sound I could probably go take her on a hack through the neighborhood and she'd still be just as quiet. It's wild. She really just is a mare that doesn't waste her time and energy doing anything she doesn't want to do. Stuff she wants to do? Oh she's all over it, whatever speed you want for however long. Stuff like cars, hot air balloons, animals in the woods, galloping horses in the pasture, howling winds? Psh, not worth her time.



Also just realized... I never did November goals. HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN.
(I know how I let this happen. I have no goals right now other than continue with rehab as planned... she dictates the goals right now. But I'll write more about them later. And I have eye candy for Brego fans as well.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

One Giant Leap for Gogo Kind

It happened.
Today, I got on my mare for the first time in almost two months.

Ever since that day when her bandages slid, I've been agressive with the cold therapy and it has paid off. Those legs have been cooler and tigher this week than they've been since the injury. So, I decided that today was the day.

I groomed her,
pulled out her tack,
and smiled because her ears just about popped off of her head they were so forward.
I have pictures but I forgot my camera at the barn.

Stephanie asked if I was going to stick her with some tranq and I said no. I mean, logically I would have if she were any other young, fit event horse who had been cooped up in a stall for two months. But she's Gogo.

I got on, made my way to the outdoor arena, and we moseyed for 15 minutes. I was sad to see how atrophied her neck was, but was completely impressed with how my mare wandered up to the outdoor, where she had never been before, and hacked around on the buckle after being trapped inside for two months.

At the very end she suddenly realized that she really wanted to be galloping like the neighbor's horse who was tearing around his field like a maniac, so we stopped and I got off. She didn't put a foot wrong, just got reallllllllly tall and popeyed. I wasn't about to take a chance, so we finished with a solid 15 minutes under saddle. She was perfect and a delight. And she felt very good.


It's a really big little step on the road back to soundness. A tiny triumph on a beautiful, 70-degree sunny November day.

I will remember this day for a very long, long time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Picture Spammmmmmmm!

As promised, here is some serious Halloween Gogo Picture Spam:


Gogo's 2006 Halloween:




Mmmmmm complete with edible tiny carved pumpkin filled with apples, carrots, and molasses! She ate the pumpkin too:





Much of the same for 2007:







Pumpkin eating, witch hat/angel halo wearing, maniacal trail riding, happiness.



2008:




Super nice and relaxed.... no demons. Because I didn't get on her.



2009:





No pictures of Gogo trying to kill me in any of these unfortunately. I do have many of those however, in other circumstances... that's for another day!

Happy November!