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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Two-Year Anniversary, Eventing-A-Gogo!

Today is the two-year anniversary of the Eventing-A-Gogo blog!

Once again, I am totally shocked to find that another year has flown by so fast. This blog started two years ago as nothing more than a little something to keep track of my training successes (and failures) with my wild little mare, and it turned into so much more. So many things have changed in the past year - many of them good, some of them not so good. My list of blog-related contacts and friends continues to grow, and hardly a day goes by when I don't get little notes of encouragement, questions, and general friendly comments from all of you amazing people. Thank you all for following this journey... it's certainly been a wild ride! So without further ado, here is a review of the past year, from where we left off last November until now:

November 2009:

Gogo continues to settle in to her new fancy living arrangements, treadmill and all. I let another farrier work on her for the first time in a year, and was happy to find that yes, even metalworking traditional farriers CAN perform a nice barefoot trim. I get back on Gogo for the first time in two months, and she behaves perfectly - until she doesn't. Gogo gets turnout for the first time in two months, even if confined to only a 20x20 area. Our day by day schedule is very simple, but steady, and we are both comfortable and happy in our surroundings. Things are looking way up.

December 2009:

Gogo's two/three month checkup at Tufts happens, and everything looks great on ultrasound, but she's still a little wonky on her RH. A partial body bone scan showed that she apparently jammed her stifle during her slide, and we medicate it to the tune of big $$$$$$. It causes her no further issues, and we get back to talkwalking, which turns into a daily bolting, rearing nightmare. We take our first trot steps, which go great, until they don't. Gogo gets booted from her stall when she starts attacking horses over the gate, to a stall with no gate under the loft - hey, she deserved it! I discuss the Elephant In The Corner, and the subsequent clarification needed as follow-up, all in response to the question everyone asked: will you shoe your horse now? The answer was, and always will be 'no' in the traditional sense, but there are many new and interesting options out there, and I think we are getting closer to a real, solid event-type answer every day.

January 2010:

I make a lot of pompous goals for the upcoming years - which events we'll do and whatnot - and experiment with tack (drop nosebands, different bits). Gogo goes on her first 'hack', a 10 minute ride around the barn. I go to the Area I convention to collect year-end awards, only to panic and turn on my heel as soon as I got there... somehow, collecting awards for my lame horse felt completely wrong, and I wanted no part of it. I talk about missing Metro, Gogo moves into the next size medical turnout (about 20x50), and totally wipes out on the treadmill. I start my own barefoot adventure, and pick out a baby daddy for Gogo. Gogo also goes insane trying to attack geldings over the fence in turnout, which doesn't surprise anybody.

February 2010:

I don't write much in February. We go back and have another ultrasound done, and everything is looking spot-on, so we get the clear to canter for the first time - which goes great for the first two days. The third attempt at canter, and she goes dead hopping lame. She makes a rapid turnaround, and the vet suspects a blown adhesion in the tendon sheath - painful, but something that will resolve itself shortly, and life will go on. Gogo gets to be the poster child for the awards section of the USEA website. She also loses her mind several times, complete with spinning, rearing, bolting, bucking, and standing on her hind legs in the stall so high that she actually cracks her head on the ceiling. Steps forward, steps back.

March 2010:

March starts out beautifully, with the outdoor arena returning to use (much bigger than the indoor, and better for Wild Gogo Brains.) We spent way too much time inside, where she was way too wild and spooky, and subsequently also spent way too much time on a circle at one end.... in hindsight, probably an awful choice. We toodle around with some groundwork. Gogo has a day where she feels just so slightly off, and this turns into a sudden, violent three-legged lameness during an amazing ride. I suspect stifle, but when we head back to Tufts, we find that a suspected adhesion has blown on the right, taking a crater of tendon with it. Boom done! Another tendon injury. We medicate the sheath with hyaluronic acid, and go right back to the beginning.... stall rest, handwalking, wraps and coldtubbing. I feel pretty crappy.

April 2010:
I try to keep my spirits up by starting up Photo Adventure Fridays again. I go over the breeding option again, and again, and again. Gogo gets lots of tubba, and lots of grazing time on the clover. I start going to the chiropractor - a LOT - and do lots of hiking in my VFFs. I mope around because I miss out on Rolex, and I SO should have gone. Gogo goes back on the treadmill for the first time in a month and a half, and is shocked!

May 2010:

I write about missing Quincy every day, and about how he died. (Yes, I cried when I wrote it.) I participate in a clinic with Jeff Cook, obviously not on Gogo, and have a blast. Gogo steals the computer and blogs all by herself. My dear friend Lynnie loses her battle with brain cancer. Gogo heads back for her two-month ultrasound, and the tendon looks great, but she's still a hair off, flexing positive at the hock (to no one's surprise; to fill you in if you didn't know, Crazy Abusive Trainer spent 6 months lunging her in a tiny, rutted circle with tight side reins on in one direction only, every. Single. Day. For an hour at a time. THAT will screw up your hocks.) I blog about milestones: my baby sister graduates from college, I get back to tackwalking on the mare, and the blog reaches its 300th post and 191st follower. I write the Ten-don Commandments, and vow to double my efforts in resolving this rehab case: arena work ONLY, straight lines ONLY, NO hacking out, NO uneven surfaces, NO turnout, coldhosing/wrapping/icing at specific, timed schedules every day, and Ace every single ride. NOT worth it to EVER chance anything else.

June 2010:

Gogo turns 9 years old on June 2nd. We spend exactly four weeks at this schedule: tackwalking 6 days a week, 30 minutes on the buckle/loose rein, straight lines in the huge outdoor arena ONLY, with 5 minutes of on the bit work added every week. (35 minutes of riding the 1st week, 40 the second, 45 the third, and 50 the fourth, to make a total of 30 minutes on the buckle, and 20 on the bit) 'On the bit' work includes straight lines only, REALLY shallow leg yields once or twice in each direction, walking over poles, and... that's about it. We do our seasonal glam shots, and we walk. And walk. And walk. And walk. And walk. The blog does its first Sunday Success Story, and they catch on fast and go strong for a good long while (I miss them, send your stories people!). I write about the first leg of the barefoot journey, and Gogo gets the all-clear from the vet to TROT! The first trot this time around feels SO much stronger and better than the first trot over the winter. Yay trot!

July 2010:

We stick to a rigorous schedule: four weeks of a 6-day a week schedule, 30 minutes of loose rein walk, 20 minutes of walk on the bit, and 5 minutes of trot added every week, to total 20 minutes at the end of four weeks (1:10 ride). Gogo looks awesome. On National Helmet Awareness Day, I write about how a helmet saved my brains. I do lots of Sunday Success Stories and Photo Adventure Fridays. The humidity makes Gogo's legs get HUGE, but she stays sound, so we keep at it. Near the end of the month, we win more blog awards, and my hip completely blows out when an old injury gets reaggravated. I am completely lame, but in very good spirits. Gogo heads back to the vet for her recheck, and we go ahead and medicate her hocks. I spend the following two weeks bringing her back to her former level of work VERY carefully, in case her new hocks made her feel a little too awesome. We are two happy chicks in the summer sun.

August 2010:

I celebrate (a few days late) my four-year anniversary with Gogo. Four years of Picture Poses, four years of striking poses, and four years of 'special moments.' We CANTER! I am understandably nervous given what happened last time, but I didn't need to be. We again stick to our set-in-stone schedule: four weeks of a 6-day a week schedule, 30 minutes of loose rein walk, 20 minutes of walk on the bit, 20 minutes of trot, and 5 minutes of canter added every week, to total 20 minutes at the end of four weeks (1:30 ride). Near the end of the month, at the 15 minute mark, I start to realize how totally exhausting this schedule is (and how totally fit she is), and decide after yet another stellar ultrasound that it's time to back WAY down. We get the go-ahead to carefully begin hacking out, jumping, and turning out. We go on our first hack in many months, and participate in an in-hand clinic with Bettina. I write more about the barefoot journey, and say goodbye to another dear old friend. Gogo goes back into the medical turnout, and life is good.

September 2010:

Gogo feels amazing, and gets back to a vaguely normal schedule. We take our first tiny crossrail! We also recab the entire year since the original injury (Sept 12th, 2009). Gogo goes on her first few trailer-out trail rides, and is a perfect angel. She is totally weaned off the Ace (FINALLY), and is great. I talk more about the barefoot journey. Gogo tells me, yet again, that she wants a baby of her own:

October 2010:

I almost go to the WEG, but don't at the last second (who has that kind of money?) Gogo jumps a few more tiny crossrails, but not much. Gogo goes for a walk on the beach, and has a blast. I talk about gayness. I also contemplate whether or not I should give Gogo a few light, easy months before returning back to real work, or if I should stick to solid things. I decide to take the middle road. Gogo gets out of her stall and demolishes the barn, and subsequently gives herself huge fat legs. We head back to the vet, and thankfully she is still sound as a dollar, so we skip the ultrasound. (Maybe a mistake now? We'll never know.) We take some more glam shots. Gogo rejoins a herd of mares in turnout, and is one happy cookie.

November 2010:

Gogo does amazingly well, and continues to go on hacks to the beach and up the road. She gives me some amazing dressage work. I announce that I am leaving my current job, and find another to take its place, this time in Southern Pines, NC. I am looking violently forward to getting Gogo back into some real event-type training when a mystery misstep suddenly leaves Gogo very lame again. Ultrasound confirms a reinjury of the area, and we decide that it's time to stop what we're doing and give her a few years out in a field. The news is devastating, but not all bad. She'll be all right, and she's not going anywhere. The blog has 254 followers, we've had stories published about us, been plugged all over the web, met some amazing people, made some fast friends, and have loved every minute of sharing all our ups and down with all of you, even more than we did last year.

Happy Anniversary, Eventing-A-Gogo! It doesn't matter that Gogo's current career is hayburner and pasture puff. She's not going anywhere, and neither is this blog. Here's to another year of more ups, more downs, more friends, more fun, and MORE GOGO!

"You see the world in black and white
No colour or light
You think you'll never get it right
But you're wrong. You might."


Melissa said...

Congrats on two years of writing! I started reading shortly after Gogo's original injury, and have enjoyed your saga. (Even if there's been far less galloping than you and Gogo would prefer.)

Do fill us in on your new job when you can! I'm excited for you. New adventures are good.

Dressager said...

And there'll be a third year, and a fourth year, and next thing you know you'll be blogging about y'all running around on the Rolex course!

Grayson P. said...

I am sorry about Gogo, I was routing for you the whole way. But there is more to horses than riding and I'm sure that you will only get closer to her. Happy 2 year anniversary. I hope for many mores years to come

Sydney_bitless said...

Congrats on going on with this blog. Congrats to Gogo for being sound today!

DressageIsToDance said...

Happy two year really breaks my heart for you and Gogo that you have both tried so hard to get back 100% and you keep hitting these roadblocks.

She's a fighter - she will overcome this, and so will you!

Southern Pines is not too far from me, like, a couple of hours I think. What barn is it again?

Heidi said...

Happy 2 years! I love your blog so I'm glad to hear you will keep writing. Gogo is fun no matter what her job may be! Can't wait to hear about your new job :-)

Val said...

I have been reading for about a 1.5 years and still look forward to the Daily-Gogo! Congratulations on two years!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I've been reading for a while too and love every second of it :)
GoGo's rest may prove to find some new fun, and you never know where that will take you both! Especially now with you going into trimming?!

sumire7 said...

I've been reading this blog for a while now. I just want to wish you and Gogo the best of luck in your new job. I'm sure things will eventually get better for Gogo and maybe you'll get to ride some other nice horses meanwhile.

lopinon4 said...

I just want to thank you for sharing the ride with us. Many of us will never meet such talent as what you and Gogo have. We appreciate looking in the window. All my best to you and your gorgeous mare.

Leah said...

Great recap! Your positive energy is infectious - you and Gogo are some classy chicks.

Nicku said...

Oh my gosh Andrea. I was trucking along (and for the record admiring the incredible detail and all those LINKS to your old posts).
Then I hit the end of the post. You sound at peace with your decision, at this point it's understandable that you've made this decision. I cant wait to read about more adventures, your blog always brings a smile to my face :)