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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Monday, December 13, 2010


I want to clarify my position here on the whole second horse thing, since I got a lot of very sharp reponses.

No, it's not likely that Gogo will ever be bred. But I want it made clear that I don't think these issues are directly HER fault. I think that rests with ME. I think it was ME who failed her. I think the reinjury is MY fault. Come on, both her and my last horse broke down horribly.... doesn't ANYBODY else think that it must be MY fault at this point? I do. I HAVE to be doing something wrong. At this point, all I can do is see if Gogo can be comfortable wandering around a pasture. If she ever gets uncomfortable, I will euthanize her. I owe her that much. So if I am short about matters relating to her, you need to understand that it's because I feel like I failed her. Because it HAD to be me. And because of this, and because this path is EXACTLY the same as my last horse in terms of what I keep hoping she'll be sound for, all I can do is assume that I WILL end up euthanizing her at some point. In the end, Metro wasn't going to be sound to stand around in a field, and we let him go because of it. He took the same downhill path she is taking. Sow how could it not be my fault?

I guess I came on to write this and talk about the specific type of horse I want for my next beastie, but now that I've reread this, I am thinking that perhaps I should never own horses again. It's certainly not fair to them.... all I do is destroy them. Maybe that's a good sign that I should just give up.


SprinklerBandit said...

Having two horses break down is bad luck, not bad ownership. Don't be so hard on yourself. It's not like you intentionally campaigned the snot out of them and they broke down; sometimes, bad stuff just happens.

Really, if Metro hadn't broken down, you would never have met Gogo. If Gogo hadn't had her issues, you probably wouldn't have decided to pursue hoofcare and be where you're at now. They are/were both lucky to be with you.

I just read through the responses on your last post, and ouch, some were harsh. Remember, she's your damn horse and you can do whatever you want, regardless of whatever the people of the internet say.

PS I talk about breeding my mare all the time. I'll probably not ever do it, but it's sure fun to check out the dreamboys out there.

smazourek said...

Wowsers, be easy on yourself will ya? I don't comment a lot (I'm shy) but I have read most of your blog. You haven't had any of your horses from when they were babies, right? So you don't know what really happened to their bodies before you got them. Aggressive training too soon will always have repercussions later in the horses's life. Maybe if you had a young'un you could start them up slow and easy and avoid the wear and tear that breaks them down early.

At this point you are doing the right thing for Gogo, letting her live the pasture life. You need to give it time to see if more movement will help her heal. As in a year more time, not a few weeks.

Tapestry Institute said...

Andrea, you LOVE your horses - that is patently clear, and there are a lot of people who don't. A lot of them see them as a means to an end. But I've read your blog for awhile now, and it's clear that you love your horses. That says something. We never, ever know how long a horse will be with us. We never, ever know how truly sound a horse is. It's the same with people and other animals. Each horse enriches us, and we can hope that we enrich their lives. Don't give up on horses. Be angry at what happens, cry, vent, but don't give up on them. You love them too much, and they love you, too. Giving them the best life possible is all we can do, and you do that admirably. Hang in there!

Melissa said...

Woah, back up a second. First, *big hugs* Second, the internets suck sometimes. I have to run to work, but I'll comment with more in a few hours. Go play with Gogo for a while.

Jennifer said...

I have been reading, lurking, following..

I won't tell you what to buy, what to lease, or if to breed. I will leave you this little bit of wisdom that has been shared with me.

Opinions are like armpits. Everybody has a couple, and sometimes they stink.

You've been in the business of riding and competing long enough to know what's best for you, for GoGo, and for the sport. Best of luck in your new Texas adventures!

Nicku said...

Sweet girl. I think you have to be really careful casting negative energy like that out into the universe. Similar circumstances do not always yield the same results. I hear you on the bad luck and there are always inflection points where it is wise stop and to evaluate what we build our life around. Horses are very fragile and I think even in our own blog community we have several sick and injured animals. I dont think you'd be so tough on any of us to say we're bad horse moms. Relax a bit and don't let the haters unglue you, they're not worth it. Time to just walk one step forward at a time and think positive, healthy thoughts for your beautiful mare and for yourself. Love love love.

Angelia Almos/Angie Derek said...

Just starting reading your blog and you need to let the haters go somewhere else. It always amazes me the people who will crop up with judgment and "advice" for others. I found your post on breeding v. buying very well thought out and something I myself went through many years ago with a mare who was lame from improper shoeing and most likely would not pass on the lameness to her foals. I never did breed her as the timing didn't seem to be right, but your post reminded me so much of what I went through. I'm sure there are many other owners who have thought the same things as you.

I agree that having two horses breakdown is not necessarily something you are doing directly. With each horses issues you have looked at your own management and made proactive changes to try to keep it from happening. Sometimes bad luck happens. I had to put down two different horses in the course of a week. Totally different conditions and the vets could only say I had complete and obvious bad luck that they would both occur at the same time.

DressageIsToDance said...

You are feeling defensive of your horse and your position, and are thus emotionally charged right now...just take a moment, step back, go do something that calms you down, and rethink it.

In the end, what happened to Gogo was an ACCIDENT. You would have never done it on purpose. It could have happened to ANYONE. It's happened to ME before. My first mare (incidentally, although smaller, looked strikingly like Gogo and had a similar personality). We were jumping in a grass arena, and although I checked the footing, she slid about 3-4 feet on a wet patch and went down. I bailed in time. She was, thankfully, just sore for a few days. But she could have come up just as lame as Gogo is from it.

So don't blame yourself. Slips happen. There was nothing you did that was reckless or stupid.

As for breed or buy. Only YOU know what would be best for you. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I say. And I'm not going to sit here and bitch and gripe about what you "NEED" to do.

However, the nay-sayers for breeding are probably right though, but NOT because Gogo is not a suitable specimen for breeding. I think she is, and I think you could find a stallion to suit her well. Breeding ANYTHING is a gamble. She could be the most perfect horse in the world and throw a screwed up baby. The purpose of breeding is to better the horse world - to make a horse BETTER than it's parents were by combining all their strengths into one. Gogo's a fantastic horse, and put her with a fantastic stallion, you can only hope to...better the horse world.

With that being said, I don't think being emotionally charged is what is making you want to breed Gogo right now. At least, not totally. But in the end, I think you should wait on the baby. I've seen the lamest horses come right back sound in some real miracle situations. Gogo could make a comeback. What if she does? Will you have time for her training as well as her foal's?

If it were "me", I would wait and see what happens. When you get to Texas, free lease something cute and plain and see how far you can take it. If Gogo makes a turnaround, you've got the option to go back and focus on her 100%. I just don't think breeding immediately in this situation is a good idea.

Amy said...

I started reading the comments and didn't make it all the way through on the last post and from the get go I could tell that the "I know exactly what you should and shouldn't do with YOUR animal" advice was getting pretty gnarly. You will always get the "NEVER breed" ones and the do this don't do that ones. Please do not let it get to your heart and ruin your day. Tough to do I know.
You love Gogo and would never knowingly put her in harms way. I recently was the resposible party for a little girl when she was thrown from her horse and broke both of her arms. I immediately went into the "blame myself" mode. What I could have done, should have done or what did I do that caused this. I also went through the I should never be allowed around children and horses ever again thing. Which really could all be true but we cannot let these unfortunate circumstances make us calloused jaded people. Bad things happen. It is not that they will happen once and be done but they will continually happen through out our lives. Pain is the downside of life but we can't let the pain keep us from living. We grow wiser and do the best we can. It won't guarantee it won't happen again but it will make it so we can at least enjoy our lives while we live them.
Go easy on yourself and if you want to breed Gogo then I know it will be an enormously rewarding experience and as I said in my comment on your last post I know you will always put her best interest first and none of these other people who are so quick to jugde your situation have never one day cried with Gogo as she was going through all of this so they have no right to tell you what to do with her. There are pros and cons to all of the things you previously mentioned about adding another beastie and you well know no matter what you decide there will be good and bad that come with it but you will do as you have done in the past. Do you best and make the best decisions with the information you have and there is nothing more you can do.
As for breeding her you love her and it is understandable that you want a "peice" of her in your next horse and there is NOTHING wrong with that no matter what those opinionated people say. If you are comfortable with it and your vet clears her then do it. It will be a life changing experience I am sure and you will learn so much through all of it.

Karen said...

I just want to say *hugs*.

Personally, I find it rare that a person loves their horse as much as you do. I mean, no offense but it's almost to the point of being neurotic. :-) I find that awesome. Only you know what is best for you and Gogo and whatever other equines enter your life. The haters should get a life. :-)

Aced: said...

I hope that this is emotions talking and not what you really feel. You did absolutely everything that you could for both horses, and you know it. Unfortunately horses become our learning experiences, but you have to hope that someday those experiences help other horses. I second the fact that two broken horses is horribly bad luck, not bad ownership. After loosing my horse to a broken leg in a pasture accident I lost it, even though I didn’t realize. My new horse came with a full on neurosis of keeping him safe and sound and it still didn’t work. He was still lame for 6+ months even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. The one thing all this torment did bring me is the visceral need to become a vet and learn HOW to make OTTB’s not break down, how to make pasture accident less frequent, how to keep horses safe. Although both my horses have had issues, both of them will eventually help me help lots of other horses.

Without either of your experiences you would never have considered barefoot hoof care, and if you choose to pursue it (which I hope you do) you too will be helping and saving thousands of horses. Don’t let other people hiding in internet land with no real knowledge of Gogo and what you’ve gone though with her sway what you really want to do.

Alanna said...

I agree with many of the other posters. Bad things happen and it doesn't mean it was your fault. I have been reading for a while now and I think you take GREAT care if Gogo. There are always "what if's." Unfortunantly there is not normally anything you can do about them. Keep your chin up.

Kate said...

Sometimes bad things just happen by chance, due to odd combinations of circumstances. Maybe not your fault at all. Horses are breakable. What you do or don't do with your mare is entirely your business and no one else's. Just keep your eyes on right now - this moment in time - and let your presence here, now, guide whatever decisions you make.

Sending good thoughts to you and the mare.

Akhal-Eventer said...

Andrea... I highly doubt Gogo's injury was entirely your fault. There are so many factors that can play into a scenario like that, and unfortunately... they are not that uncommon! I know two people at a local barn whose dressage horses had the same injury Gogo has suffered from both at the same time and despite round-the-clock rehab that went on for over a year, both horses are still not considered totally sound for riding.

For all you know.... you may have somehow ended up with two horses that were genetically predisposed to injury.

Kate said...

Hey there, I don't think you should be blaming yourself for what really is probably just bad luck. If I remember correctly, you knew when you got Gogo that she had something up in her one foot. Is that your fault? I don't think so. While that 'issue' appeared to be something that would never be an issue, luck sometimes just doesn't seem to be on your side. You can hardly blame yourself on that.
Maybe I have my facts all mumble-jumbled. It's quite possible, as I'm good at doing that, but the fact remains you are a much better horse owner than many out there. Gogo, Metro, and any horses that you may own/care for in the future should be glad to have found you.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Hey...Do NOT blame yourself. Yes, there are injuries that are our faults and there are injuries that are not...what good does that do to bear that burden???
Do you love Gogo? YES
Do you provide her with great care and a life? YES
That is all that matters..the rest will works itself out.
DO NOT let some peoples sharp comments get you down.
AND it's NOT your happens. Gogo is not even that broken (to me, lol, but I have a lame boy too, but we still get SO MUCH JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!).
You should never say you failed or did this to your loved equines.
What you DO is give them a lot more than many horses have. Thank god for that. Keep your chin up and just enjoy your Gogo...and F the rest. ;)

SmartAlex said...

Dramatic much? LOL!

Buy, don't breed. Babies are a freaking PITA. I am a reformed hobby breeder. You would have to get me really drunk to get me to do it all over again. I love Duan's comment that breeding is for people who aren't good at math!

Personally, I loved the look of that weirdo roany appy thing. Get one of those. He looked totally cool.

Book Addict said...

Don't be so hard on yourself!
And don't listen to all the negativity. A few years ago I had a mare I was considering breeding. I posted her pic on a forum with some stallions I had picked out for her and got more than a few 'she's awful/ugly/will be unsound' 'don't breed and save the TB's' along with all the rest of it. Person who bought her off me has bred her several times with the babies doing exceedingly well. If you want to breed your horse for a foal for your own use, go for it. If the vet thinks her unsoundness is just bad luck, well I'd believe him over some random person on the internet.
Just as food for thought, my mare that I have now is 3/4 TB, 1/4 percheron and so far seems like she'll be a great little eventer. Athletic, tough as nails,brave with a pile of common sense. The last thing I was looking for was a draft cross, because I had in my mind all of the awful ones you see all over craigslist. When done right, they're really something special. Best of all I got her very cheap since she she was only 3, not broke and isn't a registered anything.

Snowhawk Przhevalsky said...

Well, I don't have a horse yet.

But, I don't think that just because you have had some bad luck is a reason to not ever have another horse.

We all have back luck with animals at some point, and some animals are just more prone to injury than others.

Personally, I agree with the sentiment that Gogo is YOUR horse. If you think your best option for a horse to raise is from her (and it's gonna be a while before the baby is on the ground anyway, you have lots of time to prepare!), then do that! If you think buying is better, then do that. If you want to rescue, then go that route.

My views on breed/buy/rescue have changed a lot lately. Some people want something specific. You may not be able to get what you want if you "have" to rescue. Sure you might rescue some really sweet dog, but if you want to get into dog shows... You can't go anywhere with a spayed or neutered dog, even if it was pure-bred. Sure, you can do the "fun" things with the AKC (-now- since they finally loosened up with that), but what if you want to show confirmation? That's a case of buying the best you can find. Then, if you want to continue showing, you're probably going to want to breed your nice dog to another nice dog that has strengths where your dog fails.

It's always a gamble. Buying, breeding, or rescuing. You could get a OTTB that is fine for a short time, but suddenly comes up lame through no fault of your own. They're animals, they seem to like to find ways to injure themselves. Like... I think my cat ate a few of the fake pine needles that fell off the tree last night while we were asleep. My other cat is allergic to the rabies shot. And my dog... She's got back problems. I've had three dogs with back and/or neck problems, through no fault of our own, it was just how the genetics cards fell for them. I had a Campbell's dwarf hamster live for 4 and a half years... (Average life is like 3 years.) Then the one I bought after her lived for 2 weeks, and died of diabetes since the store fed her too many pre-packaged treats (I didn't have any, she never got them. Yet the one before her was treated with store treats all the time. I didn't -know- about diabetes in the species then. She hit the genetic lottery.). ... Then I had a pair of sister Winter White hamsters. Both died, the same day, of unknown causes. Hell, my first hamster lived for 6 months and died for whatever reason. And won't even get into the rats... This is a long comment as is. x-x

None of those deaths were my fault. I took the best care of them I could take.

Please don't let people discourage you. You do what you want to do in regards to your horse or any future horses you have.

Mare said...

Woah there, I offically know how to get an internet crowd stirred up...just mention "breeding." Geez, guys, a little harsh much?!

Anyway, Andrea, I don't comment much, but I read regularly, and the way I see it, only YOU know your situation, so do what you want. I love the idea of giving an already-made horse a home as much as the next person, in fact I think a lot of people should avoid breeding horses, but to me, you seem like a pretty responsible horse-person. So if you want to breed Gogo and you think that's an option she can take, go for it. Ignore all the rest of these people who criticize you in anyway, because there is no doubt in my mind you want only the best for your horse...

As for Gogo's injury being YOUR fault?! That's bull and you know it. You love her and do everything for her, including giving her a "forever" home. How many people can say that? Others should be taking notes on your horse care methods.

Cheer up, everyone has an opinion, but when it comes to YOUR horse, yours is the only one that matters:)

Deered said...

Wow, I missed a couple of days and wondered "wtf" when I read here today.
I think you need to remember that the negative people are only working from what you have put on the net. And are subject to all of their own prdjudices and past experiences.
For the breed/buy - personally I'd be too impatient-the foal takes nearly a year to "cook" and then you've got to wait for it to grow up!!! Also with buying something that is already on the ground you can see what it looks like, and you know that it's got no issues and your sweet mare is safe - unfortunately I know a TB stud vet... listening to him puts me off the idea of breeding for life!
I know that you're not a TB fan, and I know nothing about the market where you are going (hell I know nothing about the US market in general) but can I suggest that you keep your mind and options open - set a price bracket and age you want to look at and then go from there. My only suggestion for care and keep would be to see if you can keep the horse out in pasture as much as possible and on as much space as possible - I've got no science for it - but having seen station breds (the NZ equvialent to ranch horses) that have been raised "free range" and the good legs you get from that, I'm inclined to think that it's a good thing for them to be able to run and develop their legs "naturally" - that is of course my opinion, and I have no idea if it is feasible where you are/will be.

*Sharon* said...

Just - don't be so hard on yourself.

Everyone else has said it all. Hugs.

Val said...

I haven't given up on Gogo (or you) yet. It is just too soon. Wasn't her strength dressage?

You are allowed to be angry. Being human is being imperfect. I guess that I could say the same for Gogo. Your friends will understand.

chukkerking said...

Unbelievable. You don't need a new horse, or a better vet, or lessons, you need a therapist.

eventer79 said...

I am so sorry that you are on such an emotional roller coaster. I am reminded often that horses give us great joy but they also rend our hearts asunder in the blink of an eye.

No, you are not a bad owner. A bad owner does not put a horse on a treadmill to help her heal. A bad owner does not ice her horse's legs every day with unfailing dedication. A bad owner does not spend months detailing daily changes in her horse's joints.

You are none of these things. Horses are horses and shit happens. In fact, shit happens a lot. We lost a beautiful, talented 5 year old at our farm this summer to an impaction from nowhere. A few years ago, another reared up and fell over thrashing and died in the barn aisle from some sort of aneurysm. Horrible, horrible losses. All it means is yep, shit still happens. I'd switch to goldfish, but they are terrible jumpers. And my fish died too. Bastards. Ok, that was my weak attempt at humour.

I hope you can find time to take a deep breath and try not to get too far ahead of yourself and give yourself a break.

Frizzle said...

Another way to look at it -- you got these horses because you do right by them, give them the best care possible, spend every last penny on ultrasounds etc., wrap/cold-tub for months on end, and when it's time you will let them go peacefully and quietly and without pain. If Gogo or Metro had been with another, less caring owner, what would have happened? Would someone else spend over a year rehabbing Gogo, and then let her go out in a pasture indefinitely after she reinjured herself? Would she have a forever home that would let her sit in a pasture being a giant stomach-with-legs, or would she meet a different fate?

I've been told many times that I'm an "animal hospice" because I'll take an animal in off the street and then have it for under a year before I have to put it to sleep for whatever reason. Recently, I've had what I call "The Eight Month Curse," because the last three animals I've taken in (including one horse) have all died within eight months. For a while, I felt cursed, but now I'm looking at it a different way -- these animals come to me because I will provide them with every last comfort, all the love and affection they could want, and will make the kindest (for them) decision even when it's the most difficult one (for me).

So, no, I don't think that your horses breaking down is your fault; they somehow found their way to you because you would love them despite their injuries.

Alighieri said...

I'm very sorry that my comments was one of the ones that may have seemed so critical. People on here are right, I am just another random person on the internet who has an opinion.

I just see so many people with retired, unsound mares with no quality breeding their mares because 'they love them.' While I realize you are a much better horse person, and Gogo is OBVIOUSLY a high quality mare, I just like to tell everyone who says they are breeding their mare to take a step back and look at the mare's stats as if they have never seen the horse in their life.

If you look at Gogo's stats and decide that yes, she deserves to pass on her genetics, then by all means breed her! You are an EXCELLENT horsewoman, and so extremely dedicated to the well being of your horse.

And don't let my comments about Gogo's ligaments sway you from trusting the words of your vet and your own intuition. If you and s/he believe that the injury isn't something that would be passed on, then don't let my naysaying opinions alter your thoughts. Again, I'm another random interneter with an opinion.

However, I do think you are being very much too hard on yourself. You have had incredibly bad luck with your horses, but you are by far the most careful and meticulous horseperson that I 'know'. In no way should you think what happened to Gogo and Metro is your fault. Gogo's initial injury was not your fault. Her subsequent reinjuries were not your fault.

Anyways, I just want to say I'm sorry. I reread my comment from your last entry and it does come across as very harsh and critical of Gogo, which was not my intent. From all I have read in my blog, all I have seen in photos and video, Gogo is a very nice mare and you have done a wonderful job taking care of her and training her. What happened is not your fault. Again, I'm very sorry for how critical my previous comment was, I should have phrased it very differently and not interjected my random internet (unqualified) opinion.

SupposedSuburbanite said...

In the horse business, you are never done paying your dues.

I was raised by a horse professional and that was a saying we heard (and lived out) often. You can do everything right and things can still go wrong. Learn from your experiences, as it certainly seems you are.

Funder said...

I've been in horses for just over four years. I've owned four horses. Three of them are dead. I know how you feel, I really do.

You've always done the best you knew how for your horses - yes, you're doing things different with Gogo than you did with Metro. You might do things differently again with your next horse too. That just means you're not making the same mistakes over and over again.

You have to decide if the heartache is worth the joy. I think it is. :)

TBA said...

I second what SprinklerBandit and eventer79 have said. You are an awesome horse owner. That much is very obvious. There is no way that it is your fault your last two horses broke, just very, very bad luck. I meant to comment on your last post about breeding because I am on the breed side of the breed vs. buy argument. As SprinklerBandit said, she's your horse. Period. She's obviously a quality mare, you said that both you and your vet agreed that her injury was not genetic, you are breeding *once* to produce a quality young horse for *yourself*. I think that if you want to breed, go for it. The main argument against breeding is to not produce more poor quality horses that will be put on the market and will not be able to find homes. You are doing the opposite. The baby has a guaranteed home. If you have already looked for the kind of horse you want and either can’t find it or they are way out of your price range, then breeding is the next obvious choice. It’s up to you. I’ll support you no matter what you choose! Because you are a fantastic horse owner and the horse world needs more of them :) Don’t listen to the rude people, they’re being close minded not looking at the whole equation and they do it because there are no consequences for being nasty on the internet. *Hugs*

thistimedressage said...


If anything, its the fault of modern vet medicine, which (IME) is woefully wrongheaded when it comes to rehab. Ask me how I know! When I stopped listening to my vet and let my old horse "be a horse" (i.e. lots of turnouot), he went sound and was sound until he died.

You tried the vet med option to the hilt. Now you're giving her the change to heal on her own. You've done the right thing by following this option. Don't give up on her. Let her rest in a field, and give her a go in a year or so. You may be surprised.

Yes, the interwebs have been stirred up by this saga...but that's only because we care about you! Harsh, sweet, or inbetween, I think the vast majority of readers want what's best for you, and want to help you avoid heartache we may have experienced in our own horsie life.

Stay positive. It's one of your strengths.

Mrs Mom said...

Get up.
Go out to the barn.
Kiss your mare.
Kiss EVERY damn horse that you can.

And don't you DARE, ever. give. up.

You're one of the rare ones. Keep on Keepin' on. It's your life, your horse, your decisions. And no, you are NOT the crux of the issues with breakdowns. Sometimes, shit happens. And it sucks moose tit.

Cowgirl Up. Drive On. Kiss your stunnlingly beautiful mare.

Breathe said...

Horses can be remarkably fragile as any ride around these equine blogging parts will show you.

As for babies, I have no real opinion, other than it's about what you want to do. You are generous in exploring your ideas in a public forum like this, and tons of people will do the same right back attcha. At the end of the day none of these pixel riders can really know what's best for you.

Some mares seem to love having a foal. Honestly I knew one who just adored any foal in the area.

The main thing is don't stop riding. Because that will be learning the wrong thing from this journey. You are a compassionate owner. Don't keep yourself out of another horse's life.

PS I'm glad you're coming to Texas. As one of the many liberal women in the state, we need you to get here as quick as you can.

I am: Equestrian said...

I rarely, if ever comment, but who the hell is going to stop you if you DO decide to breed Gogo? It's YOUR choice, no one else's. You have an exceptionally talented mare and if you want to breed her - go ahead and do it! I don't think you are stupid in the least!

And as for Gogos breakdown - it was an ACCIDENT. Accidents happen

RuckusButt said...

Oh Andrea, don't give up. Sure, you are *one* common variable between Metro & GoGo but there are countless other unknown variables at work. As far as I can tell, you did things pretty differently with Gogo.

It is sad for me to think that no other horse would be fortunate enough to have you as their owner.

Hey - how many 'accidents' have you had yourself that resulted in long-term pain or other limitation? Sometimes accidents happen. I wonder sometimes, if roles were reversed, if our horses would determine that we weren't sound.

Anyway, you will work out the best thing for you. Take your time, allow yourself time to adjust and not think, and then think lots. You'll be ok.

Barbara said...

I was going to write a big long post about horses and you and horses and me etc etc. Several people have said everything I wanted to say and better. So...... have you considered at OTTB for your project horse?

tangerine said...

Wow, this is the most pessimistic post I've read on this blog. I've been reading a long time, and your high spirits even in the face of disaster have always amazed me. I can't believe that you 're letting a few meddling anonymous internet bloggers get you down. You're an amazing woman who cares infinitely about her horses. Forget them.

First, it is your blog, your place to air whatever you want to say. I use my blog to keep track of how I was feeling and when. There is NOTHING wrong with you daydreaming about breed/buy! In fact, there is nothing wrong with you seriously considering breed/buy!

Second, people have bad luck. I know... 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me' but I have never known anyone who has taken as much complete and painstaking care of their horse(s). Every horse deserves a mom as good as you. I feel guilty sometimes because I don't care for my horses as well as you do!

Denali's Mom said...

Andrea!! If I were a horse, I could only hope that you were my owner. Any horse that lands in your capable, loving hands is lucky!

People use to say to me, "Things happen for a reason," to which I'd reply, "fuck you." After having so much crap happen to both me and Denali over the past year I fully believe that.

She is your horse. You can breed her to a donkey if you want. It's no one's business but yours.

We love you! Best of luck with the move, stress makes people think crazy things!

Gryph said...

Ooh... too bad you can't breed Gogo to Fenway's Sire. Another Bartholomule! %D


I think you should NEVER give up on horses. What about that stallion owner who was going to give you a breeding discount because Gogo's a prove eventing mare?

AareneX said...

A gentle suggestion that might appeal to you: perhaps it's not the time for you (mentally, financially, emotionally) to buy a second horse.

Have you considered fostering a horse?

Standardbred Rescue Foundation ( is looking for boarding farms for some of their retired race horses. I cannot emphasize how much an off-track standie is completely UNLIKE an off-track TB. They aren't old, they aren't broken-down, they aren't psychotic.

They are bred to trot, (but most CAN canter/gallop just fine as well), and they have legs of iron. The breed is not very well-known (especially where I am, on the West Coast) outside of racing, but it really should be. They can be fabulously athletic in gaits other than a trot. It takes some training, but that's the fun part, of course.

Fostering a Standie wouldn't be like "breaking" a green horse. An off-track standie has seen all kinds of animals, people and equipment, and generally trotted right past them all. By training a 7 or 8 year old to saddle, you would be giving the horse skills that can keep it out of the slaughter trucks...and if the fostered horse turns out to be not what you want, you do your best with it and then allow it to be adopted elsewhere.

Consider it a kindness paid to the universe.

Andrea said...

AareneX, actually, that is a great idea. Something like that gives me something to ride and care for and train and not have to be stuck with if it doesn't work out AND I'd be doing some good. I like that. I think I will look into it!

Funder said...


My next horse will definitely be a Standie. I'd love to hear about somebody else's adventures. Get a good one that likes to rack and when you're bored with it, I'll meet you halfway and take it off your hands. ;)

Andrea said...

Whaaat standardbreds rack too? I don't think I'd know what a rack was if I was sitting on a racking horse, or looking at one. I think I know walk trot canter gallop and that's about it. And I know what those Big Lick horses look like but they're creepy. I guess I know what pacing looks like. So maybe I'm not completely gaited-uneducated!

Funder said...

Ehh, don't worry, you're pretty unlikely to get a racker. Most of them are trotting racers, but there are some pace racers. You can coax most horses from a hard pace (ow) to a fast rack (yay). I keep looking at the SRF site but I think they exclusively do trotters... the place in the PNW by Aarene does pacers.

(Pacers also trot. See Dixie for an example. I don't think you can coax a trotter into racking though.)

AareneX said...

Many pacers will do other "easy" gaits. Depends on the indivicual, of course. The east coast of the US has both pacers and trotters. The Standies I see are mostly from British Columbia Canada, and they are all pacers.

My pacing mare racks and speed-racks (flat shod--I'm an endurance rider, not a Big Lick-er!), but not consistently because I don't know what I'm doing on a gaited horse! She also has a to die for dressage trot.

Even if you can't get a standie (which is my first preference because they're so neat!) fostering *any* horse might be a good idea in your situation, Andrea. You have knowledge that you can teach to a horse--and that's never a bad thing.

Judi said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. Sounds like you have had a series of bad luck. As long as you have always done your best, you haven't failed at anything.

I've gone through bad spells, myself. We all do. Eventually, it ends--at least for long enough to get your strength back for the next bad spell.