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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Embrace the Ace

What a weird couple of days I've had. Up until this past week or so, Gogo has been for the most part very well behaved. These past few rides have all been a little, umm... hairy. And by a little hairy, I mean something akin to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

I don't know what complete madness possessed me over the weekend, but I got the crazy notion that I wanted to ride her bareback on Saturday and Sunday. That's right, you heard me... bareback. Saturday, I had forgotten my riding boots and britches at home, and I still wanted to ride but had no stirrup-appropriate footwear. So clearly, the SAFER option was to get on without a saddle. What did I eat for breakfast that day!? Matters were further complicated when I realized that due to all the rain we had gotten the night before, the outdoor was swamped and too unstable to take a tendon recovery out into, so I had to go back into the indoor. Which she hates. A lot. And apparently, though I felt quite certain that the little brown vial I grabbed out my locker had read "Acepromazine" on the side, a goblin had switch the bottle out in the night and had put "Bottled Adrenaline" in there instead. Even though I gave the drugs to her with a good half hour to cook before I got on, once she set foot in the arena all bets were off. I walked to the middle of the ring to set a few poles on the ground, and then walked her through them to see about spacing. When I turned to walk her back through them the other way, she jumped them. ALL of them. Ooooookay. I felt it was a good idea to walk her on foot down to the Arena Door Monster end of the ring, and sure enough, when I got down there, she skittered to and fro, blasted a few snorts, and stood with her heart pounding so hard it made her whole body shake. Ooooooooooookay. And because I am smart, I still got on. It worked, sort of, for a few minutes. But at the 10 minute mark when I went to change directions, I felt her whole body go rigid and grind to a stop in the middle of the ring, facing the scary end. I had a few options at this point: a) turn left and have her bolt left so I would get slung off to the right, b) turn right and have her bolt right so I would get slung off to the left, c) walk straight ahead and have her surprise me as to which was she would bolt and sling me off, or d) possibly all of the above at the same time. I chose e) she's standing still so let's just get off and go to the outdoor ring. And amazingly, even though she was still skittery at first, once I finally reached the half-hour mark and picked up real contact, she was utterly outstanding. Amazing. Straight, balanced, perfect. All the right muscles rippling, all the right reactions to my aids. I breathed left, she moved left. I thought right, she moved right. It was utterly outstanding. And I was delighted to find that FINALLY, after years of pain and being unable to sit upright bareback for any length of time, I am able to do it and not hurt too much at the end. Thank you, chiropractor! I dismounted at the end with a big smile and patted her forehead, thanking her for such an amazing experience. We walked to the end of the ring, pitchfork in hand, ready to pick up some poops and then call it a day. And of course, after that perfect ride, how do you think she shows her gratitude and appreciation for the loving bond we have together? By spooking to death at a speck of dust while I have a pitchfork of poo in my hands, bolting backwards, hitting the reins and freaking out, and spraying poop in every possible direction as the pitchfork soars through the air, which of course scares her even further and makes her shoot backwards faster, dragging me across the arena. FAIL.
My bareback ride yesterday was not quite as wonderful, probably because she was body tired after working so properly the day before. But it wasn't all bad, and I got off feeling fairly happy but not totally ready to do it again. I had drugged her a little more heavily, and still she spooked once or twice. It's also very hard to keep a drugged horse moving in some sort of straight and forward fashion. All she really wants to do is stumble sideways like a 2am drunk after last call.

And then, of course, today happened. After some nice bareback, productive rides, today was an outright fail. I was in such a sleepy stupor and rush this morning that I pretty much just didn't remember the Ace until I was already bridling her, and I did a dumb thing that I regretted: I decided to go without. I figured that by the time the drugs started to work, she would have already been stupid and wild, so I decided to do without. Did I think to give it IV? Of course not. I just got on and went. And she was WILD. Spooking at nothing, jumping, gnashing her teeth, rolling her eyes, threatening to rear, and the main attraction: a full on bolt that ended up being a bucking, farting, rearing high-speed volte. So much fail... so much fail. We are supposed to trot on Thursday, but she's just been horrible these past few days, so I ended up calling Dr. C and scheduling an ultrasound for tomorrow, just to clear us - or not - for trotwork. If nothing else, it's for my peace of mind. I really just can't stand not knowing whether or not she's ready for trotting after all this recent nonsense. UGH!

On the plus side, even without having had a bath for two weeks, she is amazingly freakishly gorgeously gleamingly shiny:

That picture can not POSSIBLY do it justice in any way. She's always been very shiny and healthy looking but this is ridiculous. Only thing that changed from this year to last was the addition of flax. Flax = possibly? Elbow grease = definitely.

Wish us luck at the vet tomorrow. Very nervous for what she has to say.


Paigley said...

that mare needs regumate, worked wonders on our spooky insane mare

Zoey said...

I know it's not funny, but the picture of a horse farting as it rears and bucks is... comical.

Best of luck to you and Gogo tomorrow. In all seriousness, and no fart humor, wishing you the best.

Andrea said...

Sorry Paigley, but I don't do the hormones thing. She's only spooky and insane because she's a high energy horse on stall rest and walking only. When she gets at least an hour or two of turnout and ridden 6 days a week, she is totally fine and will do anything and not spook at anything. I have a lot of things to say about hormones and none of them are nice.

Meghan said...

I can only imagine how tough it must be to have a keen, active-minded, high energy horse like Gogo on stall rest. I'm not surprised that she acts out occasionally. Your rehab has been going so well. I hope the ultrasound reveals only progress and healing and no setbacks from these recent "incidents".

Austen said...

Man, I love nothing more than a good idiot moment! Not! Like that time I took my stall rest Gelding out for a walk ... down the ROAD ... on a WINDY day ... during rush hour.

What am I? Retarded?

Point is, we all have stupid moments - ponies included! I hope Gogo is totally fine and ready for some 'relaxing' trotwork!

Denali's Mom said...

We get Regumate suggested all the time. Anything that I need to wear gloves and NOT touch isn't going into my horse.

Our appointment is Thursday. Ace, Lots and lots of ACE! I'm really hoping for handwalking! I've already said that I need to buy some ACE.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Oh GoGo...take care of your Momma and walk nice! ;)
Laz had the same idea today on our bareback ride and gave me a lame, "I'm bored" buck...well not buck, more like a shoulder hump and snake head shake.
When they feel good...why is it they channel their devilish sides?
Anxious to hear what vet says..hope its all good!

Andrea said...

Why not do IV dorm? It works within 3 minutes of giving it, and lasts for 30-40 minutes, depending on how much you give. I've been using it to rehab my horse, and it's wonderful.

Katie said...

OK, so your silence after your vet visit is making me anxious... I'm hoping you're just busy. Really busy. Or out celebrating or something equally wonderful. But please don't leave your faithful readers hanging *too* much longer...