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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Killer Treadmill of Death

Well. Let me start this post by saying how incredibly tired I am, because of the fact that I've worked for 10 days in a row without a break. That doesn't sound so bad on paper, but I am a girl that LIVES for my downtime. Not having it is completely awful for me, and as the week has worn on I've been getting more and more tired. So tired, in fact, that I've stopped paying attention to small details, which had proved to be trouble. Big trouble!

Gogo's been a complete peach under saddle this week, much to my delight. She's not been as awesome or sweet as she was on Saturday, but hey, I figure that was a special gift from Metro and it's not gonna happen too often. However, yesterday she had, an, um, incident on the treadmill, entirely my fault and due in large part to my brain haziness. I went to put her on the treadmill yesterday as usual, and hooked her up the way I always do, butt bar included. Only... for whatever reason, I didn't properly latch the butt bar, I'm not sure how. So, when I turned the treadmill on, she walked for a second, then let the treadmill carry her back to the buttbar so she could lean on it like always and let it carry her along (lazy). Only, oops! She sat on it, and it popped open. Well you can imagine what happened then. Suddenly there was nothing behind her, so she went, crap!! and staggered backwards. Thankfully the treadmill has an emergency stop when the horse moves a certain point beyond its sensors, so it stopped on its own, but the damage was done - she wanted OFF that treadmill RIGHT NOW and nothing was stopping her! We have bungee crossties, so she went sproinging off those for a second, then popped out of her halter and was free. Yes, that's right - apparently I used a LOT of Showsheen on her the other day when I bathed and clipped her, because the breakaway strap on her halter did NOT break, she just slipped right out of the halter, still hooked up and all! I have no idea how she did it! She backed off the treadmill and realized she was freeeeee! Thankfully for everyone involved, all she did was walk over to one side of the paddocks, decide she didn't want to be caught yet, trot a few steps to the other side of the paddocks, then find a bite of grass and stop to be caught. The whole ordeal took a grand total of maybe a minute, and I found her halter still intact and attached to one of the crossties. Sigh... this will teach me for thinking I am iron enough make it through a hellacious workweek without enough protein/proper sleep. Believe me, I crashed every day on the couch/in bed after work, but clearly it was not enough. I intend to spend a large piece of my day off refueling with sleep, protein, more sleep, relaxing activities, and more sleep, as late as I feel like. Really, HOW did I not latch the butt bar properly? What was I THINKING?

Good news is that I, of course, panicked about her legs and went into Intensive Leg Care mode immediately, with icing and limited activities in the forecast. I am happy to report that today they are as tight and cool as always, so it appears that no damage was done, but yeesh. Gave me my weekly dose of Crap My Pants. Ever do something COMPLETELY stupid like that? Boy do I ever feel dumb.

Gogo's inability to walk on her own.... she just sits on the buttbar and lets it rub hair off her butt while it pushes her along. Lazy.


thenamesmarry said...

Hey, I've been reading your blog for a little while, but haven't had anything to comment on until today. I just want to let you're not alone. Stuff like this just happens sometimes (just hopefully, not often).

I had a similar incident happen just a few days ago. I was running late for my lesson and threw my mare into the crossties that are in the aisleway of the outside row of stalls at my barn. I will note that she was exceptionally calm tonight, really being quite good. I gave her a handful of grain just to say "hi" and then set the grain bucket a few feet from her hind legs as she calmly stood there. Went to unbuckle the blanket, and she backed a step. I just asked her to step back up and didn't think much of it. Then she took another step back and I thought "I hope she doesn't go back too far, hit the pressure..." and before I could finish the thought, back she went. Her breakaway halter broke immediately and she just wandered off, enjoying her freedom. She was in a side field when she decided it would be fun to trot...which quickly turned into a big canter. She saw this large field right next to her and decided to run into it. Only she couldn't see the hot wire fencing that was there. I couldn't see it either, I just knew it was there, so I can't blame her. Eventually, two broken hot wire fences later, she stopped to greet the horse whose pasture she ended up in and the ordeal was over.

Thankfully, no injuries occurred and we went on to have a perfectly calm ride, but still. I've owned her for four months and haven't had problems like this, but I know she doesn't always respond to halter pressure like she's supposed to. I assumed an 11 year old wouldn't have problems with it. But I should've taken the warning signs and not been tying her at all. I wish I had at least taken the bucket of grain with me to catch her before she broke two fences. But hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? We all have our'll make us more careful in the future. I know my mare will be in a breakaway halter from now on, re-solidifying her previous owner's ground tying training, and relearning all about how to give to pressure.

I'm glad Gogo's ok, too :). Get some rest and feel better!

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel about the tiredness. I get up at 3am every morning for work. That is just a time you NEVER get used to. Some days I'm so incredibly exhausted. After work I go ride then I go run. So that only compounds it, by the end of the week I OWE myself one day to just sleep and catch back up. Yesterday I got off work 3 hours early and ended up sleeping for those 3 hours when I REALLY needed to be doing some homework...oh well.

I had an "I'm an idiot" moment about two weeks ago. No idea why but I forgot to tighten my girth another notch and what clued me in was in the middle of some flat work Klein's HR monitor started reading some weird numbers that I knew weren't right. It was because the girth was too loose and it wasn't making contact anymore. IDIOT. Good thing I have a nice saddle or my ass would have probably been on the ground at some point.

B said...

I think when you're involved with horses, the stupid things that you do just become compounded by the fact that the horses are willing to take advantage of every opportunity.

One of the things that comes to my mind initially was that I was trailering Fin out for a lesson and when I got there, I realized that I hadn't snapped her to the trailer tie, nor had I picked her lead rope up from the floor. I'm lucky that nothing happened, but everything that could have gone wrong ran through my head in fast-forward.

Another time, Fin got away from me twice(!) on the same trail ride. I have no freaking idea how I let it happen twice, but it did. She pulled back and broke her halter the first time, then stepped on and broke a lunge rope. I had a naked horse running around at a trail head twice! I felt like such an ass.

The things our horses do to us...

Sarah said...

I was so happy to read this! Just yesterday I was putting a horse back in his stall and realized too late that I'd forgotten to do up the belly strap on his blanket. Something I've done 5,000,000 times before and for some reason just completely blanked on. Duh! So he stepped on it and ripped it. Of course. I felt like such a moron.

Anonymous said...

Fatigue will get you every time - glad Gogo's all right.

My stupidest moment occurred last summer - and it happened because I was in a hurry. I was turning my horses out - it was an owner turnout day on the weekend. I had one of my mares in the barn aisle, and was getting ready to pick her feet, when another owner came and wanted to get her horse out - our barn aisle is very narrow. So instead of taking my time and putting the mare on crossties and just taking my time - the other boarder would have waited for a minute - I was in a rush and left her loose in the aisle while I picked her feet. When I got to her right hind, she sniffed noses with another horse - she was in heat and can be a hellion when she is - and did a double-barrelled kick that got me in the upper arm and the underside of my jaw. I was very lucky - no broken bones and only some teeth that got bits sheered off and a badly lacerated tongue - but I sure learned my lesson to always be careful and never rush. I've done other stupid things too, but that one takes the prize.

starrynights said...

Hope you're getting the rest you deserve. Fatigue can make you do really dumb things from time to time. (Try having a baby. You are in a complete sleep deprived fog for about the first 6 weeks...Remembering to shower is a victory)

About the worst accident I had with horses that could have been prevented was the time the goats got into the tack/feed room. We had these obnoxious pygmy goats who were always trying to follow me in there because they knew that's where the grain was kept. I had to always shut the door behind me. Well, on this day I was trying to get ready for a ride so I had my gelding in the cross ties in the aisle right outside the tack room. In my haste I didn't shut the door completely. The goats, with their supersonic senses, immediately ran for the door and pushed it open. I ran in after them and shooed them out, forgetting my gelding in the cross ties. Four goats came flying out of the tack room with me running behind them flapping my arms and yelling. The goats all ran under my gelding's belly and that was the end of that.

He panicked and sat back on the cross ties for all he was worth. He balanced there on his butt for a split second until the panic snaps broke and then he was scrambling backwards, sparks flying from his shoes on the concrete floor.

Luckily my gelding didn't fall down and was unhurt but boy did I feel stupid. After that I had to completely retrain my gelding to not pull back when tied. Thank goodness for the Blocker tie ring.

(And, yes, from that point on I put the goats in their pasture before bringing a horse in the barn.)

The large scrape and skid marks are still visible in the barn aisle to this day.

manymisadventures said...

Happens to all of us! I am absolutely worthless without enough sleep. My reaction time goes way down and my brain gets all fuzzy.

Unfortunately, my body thinks 'enough sleep' is about 9 hours. It's kind of a pain to try to get that amount every night. I can get by on 7 or 8 but by the end of the week I'm ready to take long naps.

Glad to hear no damage was done, though!

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

Well, if she could run on the ground without risk of reinjuring herself while she is healing, I'd do that too!

Nicole Redman said...

Once I went to put a horse in turnout. Walked him in, took off his halter, turned around and left. Two seconds later on my walkie-talkie: NICOLE YOU NEED TO CATCH RALPH YOU DIDN'T CLOSE THE GATE!

And then I caught the horse, put him in his proper turnout, closed the gate. When I went to bring him in, I put him in his stall, turned him around, took off his halter, and left. Two seconds later Ralph is in the cross-tie area canvassing for treats because I didn't close his stall door.

Union Square said...

Okay, all youse Blogger friends have some explaining to do. Why did no one recommend this SWEET blog to me before?

Love it. Eventing, check. Nice pics, check. BAREFOOT, CHECK!!

You should probably know, in the interest of full disclosure, that I NEVER make mistakes with my horses, and I never share them on the Internet, either.

Also I never lie.

Anyway, count me a follower!

Natalie Reinert
Retired Racehorse Blog