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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oh woman, what did you do NOW?

Oh Gogo, you never cease to amaze me!

I've had a great week with the Mamcita, despite Mother Nature's absolutely bizarre behavior - 75 degrees one day, 45 the next! Monday was our usual 45 minute bareback hack around the property, complete with indian bosal and beautiful fall weather. I have to say, she definitely is liking it now that she's figured it out, and she happily responds to the lightest of cues, much to my delight. (She also does this in a bit.... she just wasn't really getting it last time I rode her in the hackamore.) It was 70 degrees on Monday, and I had half hoped to trailer her out to the beach after work and play in the water, but I had the chiropractor to go to at 6pm... not enough time in the day sadly.

Tuesday, we worked on dressage-y things, and despite being turned out in a huge field with some fresh ladies for several hours beforehand, Gogo still had major energy to burn when I got on her. Unfortunately, I didn't get on until nearly 5:30, which meant that halfway through our ride, the sun had set fully. It was pitch black when we were finishing, which would have been fine if I had ridden in the indoor... nope, silly me had to choose the outdoor. Oh well, the 75-degree weather made it worth it! I even rode in a tank top. Despite her HIGH energy, Gogo managed to channel nearly all of it into correct, forward movement. (Emphasis on the FORWAD.) I attempted to let her burn a bit of it off in a few semi-controlled lengthenings, but unfortunately this had the opposite effect, and made my half-halt about half as effective. Still, the quality of her movement and her connection with me was otherwise so good that I decided not to pick at her about it. Instead, we just went forward. She still gave me a nasty head toss or two when we picked up the canter for the first time, which is obnoxious. Once she settled into it, she stopped, and didn't do it again in the next few transitions, so I can only chalk it up to major freshness, but still. I think I will be outfitting her in a running martingale the next time we do serious flatwork, just to give her the hint. (We always use one when we are jumping real courses or at shows for this reason!) I am quite certain a standing would make her go over backwards, so I'm not about to give that one a try. Other than her WHEEE factor, she was great.

Since she worked so well on Tuesday, and I imagined she would be fairly muscle tired on Wednesday (boy was I wrong), I decided to hack up the road after work. I need to be careful about doing that at this point, though... it gets dark so soon! I definitely did not want to be out later than I was, and made the executive decision that I will now just have to get my butt up earlier and ride BEFORE work instead of after... it's just too DARK too EARLY! I threw on her western tack for our little jaunt, and spent the vast majority of it at a walk. As usual, I trotted her for a minute to see how she feels on pavement - she felt great, as usual! Hooray! No sooner had we dropped back to a walk than the sky completely OPENED on us. Total downpour... totally soaked everything. It did not stop pouring until several hours later in the evening, which meant that my entire ride back to the farm was nasty and very wet. Ah well... it happened. At least the rain gave Gogo a semi-bath, which was nice since she had rolled about twenty times in the wet dirt shortly before I got on. This entire property is on a hill, so we never get actual mud, but the dirt near the pasture gates gets just moist enough to leave a nice crusty coating over any horse that rolls in it. Mmmmm... tasty.

Yesterday, I tossed on my jup tack, and Gogo and I spent some time cruising around doing basic fitness work for us both. It still amazes me that before her injuries, when asked for a change she would almost always crossfire going from left lead to right. She always did her auto changes with no prompting from me, but asking for one? It was difficult. Now, post-injury? Perfect, quiet, smooth changes in both directions, no problem. Sweet! I do have to be careful and judicious with these, seeing as a) I still need to be able to school counter-canter when she's strong enough and I do NOT want her to become a change-machine, and b) the more she does them, the more she speeds up. Slow and steady my friend! We also managed to pop over two tiny crossrails IN A ROW! That is a first! It was set as a really really long three stride, but we got three, four, 3.5, awkard. Neither of us is particularly graceful about it at the moment, and she is getting REALLY hot to the fences which I don't want. I still think I'm going to hold off on any serious jumping for another couple of months, until she gets some of her real dressage strength back. There's no sense in pushing it now, especially with how enthusiastic she gets.

And then today? I walked in as usual, and did my usual rounds checking buckets, eyes, legs. Good morning, New Barn ponies! Good morning, Red Barn ponies! Good morning, Gogo! Um.... wow that is a huge leg! I had left her unwrapped yesterday, seeing as her legs looked freaking fabulous after she came in from turnout, and the left hind was tight and beautiful. The right? Huge and hot! I was very alarmed until I circled around to her other side and bent down to get a better look at it. The swelling was on the front of her leg, near an old white scar she has which now was sporting a fresh cut and a big goose egg. There was also localized swelling on the outside of her fetlock. The lump on the front of her leg was definitely painful to the touch - she jerked away pretty hard when I palpated it. Oh Gogo, what did you do?

Well... the tendon sure looks good, at least!

We jogged her out and thankfully she's sound. I didn't expect her to be lame, but you never know. It wasn't alarming enough to stop her treadmilling or turnout, so I coldhosed, iced, gave her some bute, and let her go out. Actually, moving around for four hours in the chilly air did the most for her, and when she came in all four legs were icy cold and tight - save for the one particular lumpy spot, which was warm and still a little swollen. I coldtubbed her (so much more effective!) for a half-hour, and gave her a good grooming while I waited. A fresh pair of wraps and her medium blanket later, and she was ready for night-night. I hate that it's going to be cold enough tonight for her medium!!

Oh Gogo. She's fine, and she'll be fine, but still. We'll see what it looks like tomorrow!

I at least got some other things done instead of riding, like cleaning my locker...

... cleaning out my trailer...

... and giving her stall a little bit of fall charm.

I hate that the change in seasons means the sun is setting before I leave the barn at the end of the day...

... but at least you can tell the ladies apart from each other when they're in the field now that it's cold!


Katie said...

Hey! I just started reading your blog. Gogo is gorgeous. I cant believe you went to Palmy to study! I'm down here now studying too, although am only originally from Auckland :P

Sydney_bitless said...

Goodness. Wrap that Gogo in bubble wrap won't ya?

Anonymous said...

I hate the days being shorter too. Makes me appreciate lighted arenas a lot more! My barn has two of them thankfully. I've thought about riding before work too though.
SILLY MARE!!! Glad that it is looking like a minor incident!!!

That is a gorgeous picture at the end of the girls in their blankets!

Terry said...

Yikes. I hope she's OK.

Summer said...

Long time reader, first time commenting. I went back and read the entire "GoGo Saga" right from the start! What an amazing mare she is and an amazing rider you are! Your blog was one of the many awesome ones that inspired me to try my own.
GoGo reminds me a lot (personality and how particular she is under saddle) of my mare May but the lameness problems you have had recently remind me of my gelding Riley. We have dealt with everything from annoying, back to back, abscesses and stone bruises all the way to a tendon strain and Navicular! He is the only one of my 3 horses who is shod, and I still question myself on it frequently. My other two (including the mare in which I compete in barrel racing) are barefoot and she always gets great traction at shows and seems to stand up better around a barrel than a lot of the shod horse do! Anywho, Glad the incident seems minor and hope she heals quickly!