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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feel Good, Inc.



Today, my roommate and I both brought our horses up to see Dr. C, a lameness exam in store for her dude and what I hoped was our final ultrasound for my beastie. We pulled Hootie off the trailer first and did the first part of his lameness, and then took Gogo off the trailer to watch her jog. "Look how even she is!" Dr. C exclaimed. And much to my delight, the ultrasounds were found to be, and I quote, "fantastic." There was some small fill in the legs, which isn't surprising in the slightest, but we figured that as long as I am proactive about it - wrapping after hard workouts, keeping a close eye on it, etc. - I won't have to worry about it. Actually, the legs looked quite good today, possibly better than they had all week. The more she canters, the more the legs seem to be adjusting and settling down. She is up to ten whole minutes of canter, so that is pretty impressive in and of itself. I asked Dr. C about me remaining bit of Adequan, which she said was good to give however I wanted (will probably do one today, one in two weeks, and the final two weeks from that), but she also gave me a bottle of a generic glucosamine injectable. It's NOT generic Adequan - there is no such thing - but she said she's had some great successes with it. She gave some to Hootie too. It is far, far cheaper than Adequan - $100 for 10 doses versus $350 for 10 doses of Adequan - and probably the worst thing that can happen is it just doesn't do anything. We'll give it a try, why the hell not!

The plan is to continue building up over the next two weeks (or four, depending on how she feels) to 20 minutes of canter, which is a freaking ridiculous amount! That will bring our ride time totals to 1:30. The plan is that at the end of the canter build-up, which is hopefully at the end of this month, we will start to turn her out carefully in the medical turnout, graduating her to a bigger paddock every month. She won't see the grass turnouts this year, but that's all right. Her round belly shall live to see another day! With luck, in December I might be able to put her out with a group of mares. Winter turnouts are hard at our facility, limited to our small all-weather pens - unless you have a group. Groups go out in a very large all-weather down below the far barn. So we will see.
We also have clearance to start venturing outside of the arena again! It will be tiny little hacks to start, maybe ten minutes around the barn and up and down the tiniest of hills as we warm up and cool down from our dressage rides, but hopefully soon we can start tackling some little hills, and I definitely plan on taking her off property in October for some trail riding. In September, I plan on adding incline to her daily treadmill as well.
The final part? WE CAN START TO JUMP SOON! Once again, I plan on starting this once our canterwork is fully established, hopefully at the end of this month. It won't be much, just wee tiny crossrails to start, but considering that it will have been a whole YEAR since we jumped anything, I am sure it will feel like the Puissance wall. I haven't jumped anything myself since the Jeff Cook clinic in May, and let's face it - those crossrails were so small they hardly could count as jumping. So I have some rusky skillz to work on!

I AM SO EXCITED! We still need to proceed with extreme caution, and I will definitely be taking it gently over the next few months, but we essentially have been totally cleared for full work again, once we build up to it. I'll be laying out a better schedule today, and will keep you posted as to what my plans are going to be. I don't think I will end up doing Holsteiner approvals this year, as I doubt she will be ready in October to be turned loose in an arena to go galloping around like a maniac yet. No sense in risking those legs for something frivolous like that, right? It is so not worth it at this point. There is always next year - I already have all the paperwork set to go!

As for me, I obviously experienced some personal setbacks when my hip exploded two weeks ago, so I won't be ready for my little road race. I actually think this may be a blessing in disguise though, as when I looked to see what other local races were around, I found a serious of late-running 5k trail races, which are much more appealing to me than boring old road races. I always deliberately run off-road whenever I can, seeing as it feels so much better on my feel and legs. Plus I feel like Pocahontas when I run on the grass with my Avatar shoes. I love it!

Gogo says, LET'S DO THIS!


Katie said...

That's WONDERFUL news! The best!!!! Congratulations! All your hard rehab work has paid off. I am looking to your success as an inspiration, as my horse and I are just beginning down the long road to recovery from a tendon injury... Your story has given me hope!

Val said...

WOW! And jumping soon, too?!
Gogo can has circles now?

Nicku said...

Andrea I am so excited for you girl :) This is amazing news and so inspiring for everyone dealing with rehab situations.

SmartAlex said...

Great news. I have a question. I'm not in the dressage or eventing world, (saddle seat or just hacking world) so when you say X amount of trot work or X amount of canter work, are you meaning consecutive, or do you mix it up?

I've never had my horse fit enough to maintain a nice canter for more than 1-2 minutes at a time so I was wondering how other disciplines do it, and what their expectations are.

We do "jog" our horses in a sulky or cart for extended periods of time to increase fitness. But "canter work" is not something I'm well versed in.

Andrea said...

SmartAlex, my trot and canterwork in consecutive. Transitions can be hard on limbs, so I've tried to eliminate as many factors as possible to make it as simple as I can. When I canter consecutively, I only do one transition - when I trot across the diagonal to pick up the other lead on the other side. Canter for 10 minutes without stopping is HARD work. And by the end of this, I have to be cantering consecutively for 20 minutes... I am going to be sleeping well, that is for sure.
And 10 minutes is how long I go for if she is feeling like she can and wants to maintain that. If she is tired and breaks, I don't push her. Transitions might be hard on legs, but being tired can be far more detrimental, so I always do my best to listen to her needs.

Val, Gogo can has trot circles THIS WEEK! 30 meter ones, that is. She is doing 20-30 meter walk circles right now. Hooray circles, it's going to feel WEIRD! Canter circles don't start until next month.

kippen64 said...

That's great news!!! Off road is much better for running. Much kinder to joints.

SoraSoul said...

Yay! congrats Andrea =) I bet you are so relieved and happy. Her canter work looks beautiful especially for the layup, I'm very impressed!

Dressager said...

HEEHEE!! So exciting!!

SmartAlex said...

Your answer brought up something I hadn't thought of initially... I know I couldn't canter in good form for 20 minutes either! Yikes. I guess we'll have to work on that!!!

Anonymous said...


And trail running > road running, for serious.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

with a name like couldn't she be ready to Gooooooooooooooo!!
Happy for the great news! :)
Great job on rehabbing that pretty mare!

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