Yesterday morning, I got up SUPER MEGA ULTRA early to clean stalls at home (3:45am I mean), headed over to the barn, groomed the Queen Bee, and tossed her on the trailer to make the trek up to see the other Dr. C, my regular vet. I've kept her on this case because she knows this mare and knows her history, and has done a great job with her. Now that we've moved and she doesn't come out this far for farm calls, it is a little bit of a journey to get there with mare in hand, but worth it. We were a little late due to torrential rains, but made it safe and sound. The procedure was quick - lightly sedated her, scrubbed the leg, and injected the sheath with Hyalovet (hyaluronic acid). A 'light sedation' for Gogo, however, is a right knock-out... she is such a lightweight! Within moments, her head dropped to the floor, puddles of drool dribbling from her hanging lips, legs swaying, knees buckling! I half thought she was going to fall over. The procedure was very fast, and with a little bit of help, we hoisted her back into the trailer and let her wake up a little before continuing on the journey home.
With a little luck, putting a little HA into the tendon sheath will quiet everything down, settle the inflammation, and keep any more adhesions from forming. Looking at the location of the injury, and the history with possible adhesions.. that really just had to be it. The lesion is sitting right at the edge of the tendon - if an adhesion was between the sheath and tendon and it ruptured, it very well could have made a little tendon-crater there.
But I also have good news. I asked Dr. C about turning her out and/or breeding her, and I think she was trying to keep her head from spinning! She essentially just told me no, which secretly was what I was hoping to hear. Having looked at the ultrasounds, she told me this injury was minor enough that it is in her best interests to continue on with controlled exercise and getting her back under saddle, and I agree. I mean I certainly wasn't going to turn out a horse with a fresh tendon injury, but I had thought maybe in a month or so it would be all right to do, maybe. Still, I was practically waking up in a cold sweat thinking about all the horrible things that can go wrong when recovering tendons move too much, or unexpectedly. I wish I had a picture of a mare I knew who had done a similar injury to a front SDFT. The owner said to turn her out instead of resting, so they did, and the resulting major deformity was painful to look at every day. After it had "healed", she stood on her toe, leg completely crooked, and hobbled painfully around. And she is now very dead. A little bit scary to think about. Honestly, turning tendon injuries out is an archaic practice. I had to say it, but I do know it and always have. Maybe I was just having a moment of weakness. One wrong move on a recovering tendon and boom! there's your whole eventing career GONE. Whole riding career. Whole life, maybe. That's what happened to Metro.
Instead, I received Dr. C's advice and breathed a sigh of relief. I really do think it is best at this point to get Gogo back up and running again, at a slower pace than before but with the same end goal. We'll continue on with our two months of handwalking and stall rest, and reevaluate the legs at the end of May. The end of May... wow. At the end of May last year, I had already won two events. That is really sad to think about.
Next year, Gogo. We can do this.
(PS - I also just found out that the woman I was going to do the trade with is now calling me all sorts of nasty crazy names because of the fact that I called and told her I was going to follow my vet's advice and keep her in versus turn her out. I know she was waiting to her her voodoo holistic hands all over my horse but seriously lady? Glad I didn't take her up on the offer in the end anyway!)
Gogo is a 10-year-old dark bay Holsteiner mare who I purchased as a 5-year-old in PA in July of 2006. She came from a fantastic woman with a trainer I instantly disliked, and was just barely started, headstrong, and certainly promising. Her steering was not all there, and the trainer had her head cranked to her chest the entire ride. She also was shod in front with shoes and pads; after having repeated bad farrier jobs cripple my last horse, I was ready to give performance barefooting a try. She tossed both her shoes within a week of me owning her, and that was the last time she ever wore them. More setbacks in her training occured when I left her in the care of a trainer I trusted while I was studying abroad in New Zealand from January to June of 2007 - I came home to find her starved, beaten, and with a rearing problem. Lots and lots of time and hard work, and she's come a long way....
This blog follows her training, her travels, and also her feet! People say horses can't possibly successfully jump or event barefoot at the upper levels... I'm here to prove them wrong.
Proving her heart of gold and guts of steel at the 2009 American Eventing Championships
Show Name: Gogo Fatale
Barn Name: Gogo
Registered Name (AHHA): Revelea
Sire: Lemgo (Landgraf I x Elvira II)
Dam: Fandango (Fasolt x Shenango Lisa)
Color: Dark Bay
Markings: Tiny partial white coronets on both fronts, left hind white pastern, few white hairs on forehead, tiny white snip, tiny white moustache
Height: 16.1 1/2
DOB: June 2nd, 2001
Disciplines: Eventing, Dressage, Jumpers (and occasional contesting, trail, driving, and swimming!)
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Sunday Success Stories
Sunday Success Stories are a weekly feature here at Eventing-A-Gogo. Every Sunday we highlight a reader's own personal journey through overcoming adversity with their horses, sometimes against all odds. These stories are about those who never gave up, and who made a difference in the life of an animal who just needed a little love and care in order to turn around. Send your success stories, past or present, to
For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around horses. I've been riding since the age of 7, and doing dressage and eventing since the age of 15. My first gelding was a little black Trakehner named Quincy who had had EPM at some point; he was the best friend an emotional teenager could have ever wanted. He died of a horrible colic in 2004. My second gelding was a dark bay clunker of a Trakehner named Metro; he was the best schoolmaster and friend I ever could have asked for, and he trucked my butt around my first real x-country courses, and brought me my first really fancy ribbons. Due to a whole slew of problems, we euthanized him in 2006. My third horse was the quirky and opinionated Gogo, my first youngster and my first mare. She taught me endless amounts of patience, the importance of praise and soft hands, how to graciously accept mass amounts of blue ribbons one moment and how to graciously accept a dose of humble butt-whooped pie the next. After a long and downhill rehab for compounded leg injuries, we let her go in October of 2011. What's next for me? Follow along and find out!
What kind of footware does your event horse sport?
69.7%, Reserve Champion first time at First Level!
March 14, 2009: Mount Holyoke Saturday Sizzler Jumper Show, Division IV Jumpers (2'9"-3'); Two 4ths
April 5, 2009: Mount Holyoke Sunday Sizzler Jumper Show, Division V Jumpers (3'3"-3'6"); Two 3rds
May 10, 2009: King Oak Farms H.T. (Novice); 1st place, 31.1 (Double clear stadium & XC!)
May 30, 2009: Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. (Novice); 1st place, 30.0 (Double clear stadium & XC!)
June 26-28, 2009: Groton House Farm H.T. (Novice); 1st place, 31.5 (Double clear stadium & XC!)
July 12, 2009: ENYDCTA/Old Chatham H.T. (Novice CH); RF (34.1, tied for 4th after dressage, dumped on XC!)
July 19, 2009: Riga Meadow H.T. (Novice); 8th (1st after dressage & stadium with a 34, one runout XC)
August 23, 2009: Huntington Farm H.T. (Novice); 5th place, 33.5 (3rd after dressage with a 29.5, 2nd after perfect XC, one rail stadium)
September 11-13, 2009: American Eventing Championships (Novice Horse CH); 30.5 after dressage (in 7th), double clear XC (moved to 6th), W after tendon injuries sustained on XC (would have finished 4th out of 40 with a clean stadium round)
February 2nd, 2008: Chagrin Valley Farms Schooling H/J Show, Novice Jumpers; Two 5ths
February 17, 2008: Lake Erie College H/J Winter Series, Novice Jumpers; 5th
March 14-16, 2008: Lake Erie College Dressage Winter Series, Training/First Level; T3 65.2% (2nd), T4 66% (1st!), F1 69.66% (1st!), F2 63.8% (2nd), First Level Reserve Champion!
March 29-30, 2008: Lake Erie College H/J Winter Series, Adult Amateur Hunters, Novice Jumpers; Hunters 4th, 6th, 6th; Jumpers 5th, 7th
April 18-20, 2008: Lake Erie College Dressage Prix de Villes, First Level; F1 60% (2nd), F2 53.3%, F3 57% (6th), Team "LEC's That's What She Said" 3rd place team! (Scary show where she was in freakish heat, which was obv. in our scores....)
June 7, 2008: South Farm Combined Test, Novice; 1st, 26.0 (Double Clear)!
June 21-22, 2008: Encore H.T., Beginner Novice; 3rd, 42.5 (1st after dressage 38.5, one rail stadium)
July 4-6, 2008: South Farm H.T., Beginner Novice Horse; 1st, 26.6 (1st after dressage 22.6, one rail stadium)!
August 8-10, 2008: Hunters Run H.T., Beginner Novice Horse; 1st, 33.0 (Double Clear)!
August 16h, 2008: Erie Hunt & Saddle Club H.T., Beginner Novice; 2nd, 32.5 (Double Clear)
August 24, 2008: Ellrick Farms Schooling H/J Show, Training Jumper (3'); Two 4ths, one 5th
August 30-31, 2008: South Farm Fall H.T., Area 8 BN Championships; W (1st after dressage, 28.5)
September 10-14, 2008: American Eventing Championships, Beginner Novice Horse; 6th, 33.0 (Double Clear)!
July 7-8, 2007: South Farm H.T., Beginner Novice Horse; 6th, 39.0 (Double Clear)
July 20-22, 2007: Dressage at Waterloo, Training Level 1-4; T1 63% (5th), T2 62% (5th), T3 (3rd), T4 63.2 (5th), 60% (6th)
August 11-12, 2007: Dressage at Grand Haven, Training Level 1-4; T1 60.9% (5th), T2 69% (1st!), T3 61.6% (4th), T4 62.8% (5th), 60.4%
September 16th, 2007: South Farm Mini Trial, Beginner Novice Horse; 1st, 31.5 (Double Clear)!
September 30, 2007: Spinning Wheel Fun Show, All Gymkhana; Seven 1sts, two 2nds, one 3rd
October 7th, 2007: South Farm Fall Hunter Pace, Flat Division; 10th
November 9-11, 2007: Lake Erie College Dressage Winter Series, Training 1-4; T1 65% (2nd), T2 69.3% (1st)!, T3 66% (2nd), T4 64% (3rd)
Sept 17, 2006: South Farm Mini Trial, Intro Horse; 3rd, 39.0 (Double Clear)
October 7th, 2006: Mane Event Fun Show, Barrels, Stakes, Fanny Race!; 5th, 6th, 6th