I've had a very rollercoaster-esque week at work since my last post. In contemplating life and fragility, I've had plenty to think about surrounding life's recent events and everyone's comments, which I thank you all for. You all have had very valid arguments on both sides of the fence, most of which I had already been thinking about, but some of which that had not even occurred to me and gave me even more to digest. Thank you for that. Friday, I was reminded of just how fragile these huge animals can be sometimes. We had a client horse here at the farm who ate breakfast, pooped, drank water, went on the treadmill, and acted normally all morning. I was grooming horses all morning, and while on my third one at around 11:30am I heard someone pawing down the aisle. It didn't stop, so I went to go check, and here was the client horse, digging a hole to China in his stall and curling his lip. Awesome, he's colicing. Ok, call the owners, check his TPR (99.8/HR 32/RR 80!), give him 1000lbs of Banamine and start walking. He worsens within a half hour and so we get the vet on the phone. He continues to worsen and I pick up a whip to keep him on his feet. The vet is there within a half hour, and we sedate him and do a rectal. Hmmm, where is his colon? Not where it is supposed to be. That's... bad. We tube him as well and find nothing out of his ordinary. He also has a murmur. The second the sedation wears off, he is back to pawing like mad, so the moment the owners arrive I hook up my trailer, tell my staff to hold down the fort, and load him up with another dose of sedative on board. The moment he arrived at the clinic, he was back to being painful again, so surgery was almost a certain thing. I headed back to the farm, heard around 4pm that he was headed to surgery, and waited for news. At 6pm, they told me there were complications and they needed to remove a piece of colon with compromised blood flow. I heard nothing from them again until 8am; I had assumed the worst. But he had come through surgery by some miracle, and was back on his feet. As of today, he is still alive and doing fairly well, but we aren't out of the woods yet at this point. My first major emergency as a young professional... very scary stuff. Honestly, he was fine that morning. I checked on him during my morning rounds like I always do, and he was normal. I can't figure out how the hell these things happen sometimes. Just terrifying to think about, you know? Of course, the following day things did not improve around here. One of the big jumper mares was getting freelunging in the indoor in the morning, and she decided that she was going to make a break for it.... through a tiny half-door. There was a very small opening to the outside over the top of the swinging door, which can be shut in by a sliding garage door, but it was open at the time. This mare - who is HUGE I should mention - trotted to the opening, jumped, smashed her back into the roof of the doorframe, flipped forward and caught the heel of her hind shoe IN the drywall ABOVE the doorframe, hung there for a moment doing a handstand, and then front-flipped out of the doorway onto her side on the gravel driveway. I missed the entire thing and never heard the noise it made (the guys were blowing the aisle and I was in the office) so I was quite alarmed when my boss came flying in saying, "there's been an accident!!" Good lord, I had a heartattack. By some miracle, the mare is fine - a few cuts and scrapes, but honestly, nothing worse than that. She is sound and fine. Phew. So needless to say, I rather enjoyed my quiet day off yesterday. Anyhow, about Gogo... I'm not breeding her. Of course I WANT to - who doesn't WANT to? - but that doesn't mean at this point that I SHOULD. There are lots of reasons on both sides, obviously, as to why I should or should not, but in the end I know that while it really is a good time to do it, there are plenty of reasons to wait. Honestly, the biggest one for me isn't one that I talked about or any of the comments really touched upon. My biggest stop is this: what has she done to really prove that she deserves to spread her genes? Has she won Rolex? No. Had she gone to the Pan-Ams? No. Did she win a medal at the Olympics? Nope. And quite obviously, I don't want a horse that is ever going to do that, so that isn't the horse I'll be breeding for, but I want a horse capable of Prelim at least, you know? And quite frankly, even though her injury was just a stupid accident as far as we can tell and she SHOULD make a full recovery, what if there isn't some sort of long-term breakdown issue there? I won't know until we continue on into the future, and I won't be breeding her if there is. Once she proves herself a little more to me - if she can reach Prelim and stay sound after this injury, and she does well as it - then we'll talk. Yup, I'll be breaking a baby when I am closer to 40 than 30, and that's a little bit scary to me because I cannot POSSIBLY comprehend being that old. But that's life, you know? I'm a little hypocritical about breeding because I see human breeding and horse breeding in a similar way. As for myself, I know that, like Gogo, I am completely middle-of-the-line mediocre. Yeah, I'm athletic enough to not be a fattie on the couch. Yeah, I'm smart enough to not totally fail at life I guess. Yeah, I'm pretty nice. But I'm simple. I'm average. I'm nothing interesting or exciting. I'm okay with that. I'm not going to change any lives, save the world, or make the human race better for any reason, so I know that my genes are not worth passing along. Whether or not I end up wanting kids - sometimes, I think maybe I will - I have already opted to take myself out of the gene pool because I am not worth replicating. I'm just not. I see no reason to add another mediocre life into this world. We are SO overrun with extra lives and SO overpopulated as is. Why do mediocre people breed? Why don't just the good ones breed? And then if they also produce mediocrity, remove those individuals from breeding as well? (I mean let's let them live and be happy and stuff, let's not go the full Hitler or anything... just don't let them breed!) I don't understand and I never will. Same with horses though.... Gogo is just as mediocre as I am. So why am I breeding her? Because I love her and want another one similar to her? That's what human parents do... they replicate because they love each other, and then create more mediocre humans. In a way, it doesn't make sense. Too much to think about, on this gorgeous spring day. At least the weather has been like 90 degrees... love that. Om nom nom grass... icky bugs.
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