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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mush Brain

Ever wonder if secretly in the night, aliens come into your room and sometimes replace your brain with tapioca pudding? That's kind of how I felt yesterday.

((Right: The big rig.)) In all seriousness, I am very worn out from my recent hip issue and the subsequent heavy doses of Naproxen and Vicoden I've been on in order to keep it all at bay. I was feeling much better, but had to drive to Vermont yesterday in a small car to pick up the big rig and four horses from the Vermont Summer Festival, and sitting in a car for a long time aggravates the issue. Not only did I have achey hips on the journey, but I also was driving a strange car I knew nothing about, had to leave at 6am, almost ran out of gas, was nearly an hour and a half late upon arrival, killed my cell, was totally panicked about my lateness AND didn't realize at one point that I was speeding because of this and subsequently got pulled over and was given a COURT SUMMONS because I couldn't find the insurance and registration on the vehicle and was going fast enough to be considered reckless (anything over 85 in the entire state of CT is "reckless driving" and the cops in Torrington HATE that). To add insult to injury, our working student gave me a burrito for the road that gave me the worst heartburn of my LIFE. I seriously wanted to DIE. My poor groom was so exhausted that he passed out for the entire four hour drive back to the barn, so it was on me when I realized an hour into the drive that the working student (following us in the small car that I drove up to VT) had forgotten my boss' Yorkie at the showgrounds!! She had to go all the way back to get him. As for me, I had no music and no phone for the entire four hour drive home, and three squealing mares, one poor gelding, and one snoring groom to deal with all the way back. Summary of this story: 6am + stranger's small Subaru + no gas + no gas stations open at 6am in small town + this making me VERY late + speeding + pulled over & given court summons + getting to showgrounds late + four tired horses, three trunks, three saddles, 8 bridles, and god knows what else to be loaded into trailer + burrito of death + major stomachache + four hour trailer ride home with no music, no battery on phone, squealing mares and snoring groom = not the best day of my life.

Needless to say, I did NOT ride when I got home.

That being said, Gogo and I have indeed survived our first week of canterwork, and are neither crippled nor dead! YAY! I am in ultra-paranoia mode, seeing as cantering is where it all went to poopoo last time, but so far, we are ok. In typical fashion, as soon as our canterwork started, the legs all began to fill in the mornings. Of course, right? There's nothing alarming about the fill at this point. It's a little funny looking, but not ugly like it was in the spring when something was really wrong. The right is vaguely warmer every day than the left, which is usually filled and pretty cold, but not hot by any stretch. Both front legs are the same temperature, and are warmer than the left hind but cooler than the right hind. It's kind of weird. The fronts have some fill to them as well, which is why I'm not too worried about it. It is August and the humidity is disgusting. All the horses in the barn who are prone to it have some level of fill in their legs. I'm still keeping a wary eye on it, and am jogging her pretty much daily, just to make sure. Whenever she jogs out, the fill dissapears, which is a really good sign. And she looks really, really, really good when she jogs out - the most important thing.

Last week's schedule went something like this:
Monday and Tuesday: 20 minutes of loose rein walk in straight lines, walking over ground poles. 15 minutes of walk on contact, 30 meter circles and a few small leg yields. 15 minutes of trot in straight lines. During trotwork, Monday: one long side of canter on each lead (actually, more like 1.5 going left on accident... picked up wrong lead!). Tuesday: two long sides canter on each lead. Cooldown: 5 minutes on contact work, 10 minutes loose rein, straight lines.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 20 minutes of loose rein walk in straight lines, walking over ground poles. 15 minutes of walk on contact, 30 meter circles and a few small leg yields. 20 minutes of trot in straight lines. During trotwork, Monday: canter one whole time around arena on each leads. Tuesday: canter two times around area on each lead. Friday: instead of during trotwork, add time additionally to trotwork... canter three times around arena on each lead. Cooldown: 5 minutes on contact work, 10 minutes loose rein, straight lines.

I made the very bad mistake of not drugging her on Friday. Three months into the riding portion of rehab, we've come so far that I'm not comfortable weaning her off her 1/4cc of Ace just yet for fear that she's going to do something incredbly stupid and reinjure herself. She had been SO quiet for weeks though that I thought she'd be all right now that she's cantering and getting her energy out, and opted to go without for a day. I was wrong! She was okay during our walk work, and then we moved into the trot.... and the head started to come up... and the snatching at the bit began..... and the teeth gnashing and eyerolling..... and the snorting and prancing..... and the bucking, taking off, and leaping with all four feet off the ground......! Hmmmmm. Oddly enough, I still managed to cross myself and pick up the canter, and she was outstanding in both directions, despite being a little bit more forward than usual. The resulting trot and walk work was also excellent. Needless to say though, I am still going to continue my light sedation routine. I just can't risk it at this point. She's just a little too fresh and we've come so far!

Today, our ride went like this: 20 minutes loose rein walk on straight lines, walk poles. 15 minutes walk on contact, circles and a few shallow leg yields. 20 minutes trot on straight lines. 5-6 minutes canter - 4 times around arena on each lead. Cooldown: 5 minutes walk on contact, 10 minutes loose rein walk on straight lines. She was still kind of obnoxious during her trotwork, occasionally throwing her head straight up in the air in that special way that she does, and I asked the working student to watch her trot in case she was acting out because she was hurting. She said nope, she looked just fine. And she FELT just fine too... I am just such a nervous wreck over the idea that something could go wrong at any moment during this whole rehab nonsense that I can't help but worry. Any little thing might mean something bad, and I can't ignore anything. She continued to feel better and better as we went along, settling into a nice rhythm and quieting down, and we bumped up into canter. She felt great! We went four times around the entire arena on each lead, and even though she thought about fussing for a moment going to the right, she settled into a super canter, even better than the left, straight and strong. When we were cooling out, I still had my mind on her fussiness, and figured I should really get a better look at her from the ground in case I could see something subtle going on. One can't be too careful. I hesitantly broke out the lunge line, and sent her out going left first - all looked good, but I expected it to. If there was going to be anything subtle, it was going to be to the right. I turned her around, sent her out, and she EXPLODED! Thankfully, her bit of gaga rush canter was shortlived, and she settled into a forward trot. Oh my god... she looked AMAZING! Absolutely stunning. I've never seen her so good and loose going to the right.
A hose-off, 20 minutes of grass, 30 minutes of ice, and two trimmed hinds later, the legs were icy cold and staying that way. I wrapped her anyway, just to see if that might help the excess edema in the morning, but I came away from the evening feeling much better than I had all week.

Also, the Princess got ANOTHER new halter.... I need to do another post covering Four Years of Ridiculous Halters.

Amazing. Nameplate and all.... it says Gogo Fatale in large letters with a smaller "Gogo" underneath it, and it also had two rearing horses on either side of the name.... true to form!

One final note: the Millbrook H.T. was last weekend, and I managed to score a Saturday off so we could watch the Advanced XC! Katherine at Grey Brook Eventing was also there with her fabulous mare Kiki, but alas, we did not cross paths. (She came in 2nd in her division with a 26.5!) It was outstanding and I got some pretty good pictures with my little camera:

Buck Davidson and Titanium:

Dude how many horses can that man possibly ride in a day? He didn't run Bobby, much to our dismay, but he still rode THREE other Advanced horses, plus all his other I and P horses, and I'm sure there were lower level ones on top of all that. I guess if you're going to come all the way from Ocala, you go big or go home!

Does that ever make you want to show or what!!


Nicole Redman said...

Kate and Kiki are in Connecticut? World traveling horse!

sally said...

wow the trip towing the big rig sounded awful poor thing. And I love Gogo's new halter. Very flash. Hope she continues to work nice and sound

Andrea said...

No Kate and Kiki live in MA. Millbrook is in NY. (Remember I live practially on top of the state boarder, you who knows 0 about East Coat geography.) So neither one of us were in CT!

Katherine Erickson said...

I'm so sad we still didn't get to meet! I show jumped right during advanced xc and then left for home right afterwards to take care of Ringo for the night (number of days Ringo is in someone else's care = degree by which my blood pressure rises), so I was pretty low profile. Someday!!

Val said...

Sorry to hear about the deadly burrito and the rest of your harrowing trip, but happy to hear about Gogo's awesome cantering!

Buck Davidson makes it look seriously easy. He must be from another planet.

Andrea said...

Maybe he was the one who gave me tapioca brains!

Jen said...

Sorry to hear about your horrendous trip. I'd be ticked off too.

Gogo sounds like she's doing awesome! Keep up the good work.

Sarah said...

I was just thinking how brilliant it could be for someone with an otherwise sound horse to pretend their rehabing from an injury and take things right back to walk and slooowly add trot and finally canter. Great way to work out any training bald spots, but I know, I know, who wants to waste a sound horse with just walking. It's an intriguing thought though...

Nicku said... made that look like cake walk...I cant even walk my horse on a loose rein and look that confident :P He's amazing!

Dressager said...

That day... sounded like shitake.
And Buck Davidson and Katherine Erickson... make me want to show SO BAD!!!!!
And that halter... makes everything better. Where d'ya get it? lol