Yay Blogger is finally letting me actually POST something! It pooped out on me three days ago and I've been unable to get to the homepage for some reason. No matter, it's back up now!
Anyway. How on earth it is already November? I believe I said the same thing when it suddenly was October. And September. And August. This year is blasting by at warp speed!
I am thankful to report that Gogo's lumpy bump has vanished. The following morning, underneath the wraps, the swelling was down nearly 80%. I put her on the lunge to look her over, and she trotted off with her tail over her back, snorting and prancing. The maintenance guy brought farm truck by the arena, which didn't help the matter. She finally settled, and looked as sound as ever. I didn't bother with icing and wrapping after the second day, and by day three the leg looked totally normal with the exception a small warm spot near the cut. I was not at the barn on Sunday - we went up to help out at the New England Hunter Trials and cheer on Daun and the Big Brego! - so I never actually got to look in on her that day. Secretly, this was all right by me, seeing as it was Halloween, and traditionally every Halloween Gogo gets possessed by demons. (But to counter the freaky, check out some adorable Halloween Picture Spam from years past.) I figured it was probably best to avoid opening that can of worms this year... and maybe every upcoming year for the rest of eternity.
So Monday, it was back to work. We had a birthday party to attend that evening, so the only thing I had time for was a quickie bareback hackamore ride with the woman around the property before it got dark. We even managed to cruise up to the stopsign and back. Beyond that, all I could do was toss on her heavyweight blanket and tuck her in for the night. Yes, it really is that cold at night, with temps dropping into the 20's!
Tuesday morning was no warmer, and I showed up to the barn bright and early at 7:30am, just as the sun was rising over the frost-covered property. Bundled in my polarfleece britches, two shirts, a sweater, a puffy vest, a scarf, and a puffy jacket, I climbed aboard, and despite the fact that I looked slightly like the Bumble from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, my toes and fingers went instantly numb. Thanks for the nice weather, New England! I was amazed to find that the frigid air did nothing to make my little monster fresh or wild, and she bopped along lazily on the buckle while we warmed up in the outdoor. The more we did, the more energy she managed to find, but it was a nice balance that resulted in freshly forward momentum that was easily kept in check. She was losing some of her responsiveness to my half-halts near the end, but a series of transitions helped remind her of our collective braking ability. She was so good! She really is a different horse this year. Trying to figure out all the new things about her is a total learning process, and the things I needed to do last year in order to get her mental cooperation are no longer applicable. She moves better, is stronger and more fluid, and happier to do her job now that she has a whole new level of comfort and strength. Whatever this long period of rest and subsequent structured work did for her body overall was so good. I'm still icing her after every hard ride, just out of habit, but at this point I don't feel the need to coddle her too much anymore. So long as she stays relatively well-behaved in turnout, then she's going to get booted OUT for as much time as I can give her, and be given the chance to just be a horse for once. I think it will do nothing but help her at this point.
Wednesday and today, Gogo had off. This wasn't exactly my intention, but circumstances involving very crabby people prevented me from doing much in the way of anything with the Mamacita. Despite that, Gogo DID get her yearly Halloween treat, albeit a bit belated this time around - a tiny pie pumpkin, stuffed full of apples and a smidgen of caramel. The first year I served this to her, she gobbled the whole thing. The second year, she ate all the insides and about half of the pumpkin. Last year, she ate all the insides and snuffled around the pumpkin itself. This year, she refused to eat any of it at all. I had to pick up pieces of scattered apple and shove them forcibly into her mouth after she had rolled the pumpkin all around, dumping all its contents onto the floor. She did end up eating most of them, but I think only because I started to offer them to the other horse in the crossties instead. She did NOT find that amusing. Fine, whatever Gogo. Next year I'll make you bob for apples instead. How will your dignity like THAT?
Despite being an Ice Queen, she's still the best.
The other thing that happened today was that Dr. R, our amazing dentist from Virginia, came for his six-month visit. He checked Gogo over even though she got done six months ago, and rounded off a few sharp areas. He also found some hardcore plaque buildup on her top incisors. This was a bit odd, as nothing in her diet had changed at all, and none of the other horses had any sign of it either. Dr. R said that it sometimes shows up with very hard water or feeds chock full of molasses, but she's getting neither. Hmm! He had to scrape it off with a nail file, it was so hard! She also had a bit of gingivitis to go with the plaque, so I will need to clean the area with Clorhexadine solution one a day for the next week in order to get it to quiet down. Remembering her obnoxious performance last time we did dental work on her, we didn't even bother trying to put the speculum on until we had sedated her heavily. Mares... gotta love them.
And now, onto our October goals, which were pretty much a big giant fail.
1) Go trail riding on the BEACH! (Safely, of course... no mad gallops, no deep sand riding... the rule is stay below the high-tide line anyway so I think we're good for footing!)
SUCCESS! Definitely one of the biggest ones of the month. We went to the beach THREE times, and each was more awesome than the last. I had wanted to find a day warm enough to actually go for a real swim, but alas, those days are long gone for the season. Maybe in March!
2) Possibly take a few dressage lessons? And maintain last month's weekly schedule
Well... lessons didn't happen. With the escaping incident, Gogo ended up having two whole weeks off when I didn't know what was going on. Once she got cleared by Dr. C to keep on trucking like we had been, we went back to the weekly schedule, but I wasn't violently strict about it.
3) Have Gogo adjusted chiropractically
Again... fail. I had hopes of trucking her in to Vicki's when Dr. A was over there, but it just never worked out. Hopefully this month if I can arrange it, although I have to say money is very tight. I know I'll manage somehow, like I always do... but you know.
4) Move into the next size paddock (step up from medical paddock)
This is THE biggest success of the month. She stepped up from the medical to the small paddock, then stepped up from the small to the medium sized paddock. When we started having issues with turnout juggling (it is heading into the winter season after all, and the grass paddocks are now closed), I bit the bullet and tossed her out with the ladies in the big field. Best. Decision. Ever. Her legs look amazing, her demeanor is highly improved, and her behavior is stellar. Also, by removing a horse from the solo turnout list, I managed to free up space in the smaller paddocks. Everybody wins!
5) Be a better record keeper!! (I was a slacker this month and my day-to-day written record keeping was not very good. I am normally great at this so I need to get my butt in gear!!)
This was a TOTAL fail. Near the end of the month, I scrambled to get my act together and reorganize, and did much better for the last week or so. But even now, I find that I've already missed three days of my records in this new month. Bad girl!!
November Goals:1) Make this the Month of Dressage! Lots of dressage work, focus on correct and confident work, start to add bits of collection back into the mix, practice tests, take lessons, etc!
2) Do records - EVERY day!
3) Have Gogo's teeth done
4) Hopefully have the chiropractor work on Gogo
5) Map out a rough game plan for the next two months - I hope to really get back into real, planned, structured work in January in hopes of eventually conditioning for eventing, but I want to keep it simple and easy (and fun!) until that point.
I still can't believe it's November already. In two weeks, the Eventing-A-Gogo blog will be TWO years old. We just reached our 250th follower TODAY! We should have a party!
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago