Yesterday morning, I got up SUPER MEGA ULTRA early to clean stalls at home (3:45am I mean), headed over to the barn, groomed the Queen Bee, and tossed her on the trailer to make the trek up to see the other Dr. C, my regular vet. I've kept her on this case because she knows this mare and knows her history, and has done a great job with her. Now that we've moved and she doesn't come out this far for farm calls, it is a little bit of a journey to get there with mare in hand, but worth it. We were a little late due to torrential rains, but made it safe and sound. The procedure was quick - lightly sedated her, scrubbed the leg, and injected the sheath with Hyalovet (hyaluronic acid). A 'light sedation' for Gogo, however, is a right knock-out... she is such a lightweight! Within moments, her head dropped to the floor, puddles of drool dribbling from her hanging lips, legs swaying, knees buckling! I half thought she was going to fall over. The procedure was very fast, and with a little bit of help, we hoisted her back into the trailer and let her wake up a little before continuing on the journey home.
With a little luck, putting a little HA into the tendon sheath will quiet everything down, settle the inflammation, and keep any more adhesions from forming. Looking at the location of the injury, and the history with possible adhesions.. that really just had to be it. The lesion is sitting right at the edge of the tendon - if an adhesion was between the sheath and tendon and it ruptured, it very well could have made a little tendon-crater there.
But I also have good news. I asked Dr. C about turning her out and/or breeding her, and I think she was trying to keep her head from spinning! She essentially just told me no, which secretly was what I was hoping to hear. Having looked at the ultrasounds, she told me this injury was minor enough that it is in her best interests to continue on with controlled exercise and getting her back under saddle, and I agree. I mean I certainly wasn't going to turn out a horse with a fresh tendon injury, but I had thought maybe in a month or so it would be all right to do, maybe. Still, I was practically waking up in a cold sweat thinking about all the horrible things that can go wrong when recovering tendons move too much, or unexpectedly. I wish I had a picture of a mare I knew who had done a similar injury to a front SDFT. The owner said to turn her out instead of resting, so they did, and the resulting major deformity was painful to look at every day. After it had "healed", she stood on her toe, leg completely crooked, and hobbled painfully around. And she is now very dead. A little bit scary to think about. Honestly, turning tendon injuries out is an archaic practice. I had to say it, but I do know it and always have. Maybe I was just having a moment of weakness. One wrong move on a recovering tendon and boom! there's your whole eventing career GONE. Whole riding career. Whole life, maybe. That's what happened to Metro.
Instead, I received Dr. C's advice and breathed a sigh of relief. I really do think it is best at this point to get Gogo back up and running again, at a slower pace than before but with the same end goal. We'll continue on with our two months of handwalking and stall rest, and reevaluate the legs at the end of May. The end of May... wow. At the end of May last year, I had already won two events. That is really sad to think about.
Next year, Gogo. We can do this.
(PS - I also just found out that the woman I was going to do the trade with is now calling me all sorts of nasty crazy names because of the fact that I called and told her I was going to follow my vet's advice and keep her in versus turn her out. I know she was waiting to her her voodoo holistic hands all over my horse but seriously lady? Glad I didn't take her up on the offer in the end anyway!)
Wednesday afternoon was our appointment with Dr. C and Dr. G up at Tufts. Even though Gogo jogged out only mildly unsound the day after the incident, I hadn't jogged her since and wasn't sure of what we would find. I had thought maybe we'd have to try and induce the lameness again. I bathed her, clipped her, and trimmed her all up, plopped her on the treadmill, dried her off, and then tossed her on the trailer and left. When we arrived and unloaded, I was reminded of how much I completely adore my mare - as usual, she walked into the clinic like she owned the place, sniffed around at some extremely questionable looking things as if they were nothing, and stood there bright, calm, and interested, despite the chorus of screaming horses in all directions all around her. Love her.
When the vet showed up, we took her into Tufts' long aisleway, and had a tech jog her. And wow... she was a lot lamer than she has been the day after the incident. Quite a lot. Since she conveniently happened to be so lame on the day that we were there, we decided that we would start with blocks to see what we could isolate, and then go ahead and ultrasound the legs afterwards. I told them my concerns about her stifle, and when palpated we did find some mild effusion there, same as last time. (For the record, I think the injection didn't do much for her.) We also found effusion in both tendon sheaths in both hind legs, something I've been concerned about and unsure of what to really think - they fill at odd times and for odd reasons, which is why I've felt unable to wean the wraps off of her at this point despite my best efforts. We agreed to block the tendon sheath on the RH first and see what that gave us. Somewhat alarmingly, when the needle went in, a whole lot of fluid came shooting out, and left a fairly sideable puddle on the ground. The fluid was also more watery than it should have been. We blocked the area with 15ml of Carbocaine, and I took her for a little walk before we jogged. Not expecting to see much, I turned her over to the vet tech and watched her jog out for the second time with the vets at my side.
And... she was quite a lot better. And it continued to improve the more she moved.
Well, we weren't totally concerned at that point because the left hind had the original lesion in it, right? There was no structural damage to the right hind anywhere, aside from the inflammation in the tendon sheath and the jammed stifle. She was always lamer in the right hind originally, but honestly these past few jog outs prior have been great. There was nothing on ultrasound that was concerning. We clipped her up, pulled her up alongside the ultrasound machine, and looked at the RH.
There. An angry, fresh, little black hole. A brand new lesion on the other leg. My heart sank. It couldn't be.
We went back and forth for a long time about it. How could this have happened? Did she do something stupid? Was the canterwork just too much too soon? Was this a compensation issue? Did she have an adhesion that did in fact rupture but took part of the good tendon with it? We don't know. There was an area of very mild tendonitis on the left SDFT as well, despite the fact that the original injury is nearly invisible. At this point, it is impossible to say.
The official vet write-up:
"Upon presentation, Gogo Fatale was bright, alert, and in good body condition. Physical exam revealed mild right stifle effusion as well as effusion in the deep digital tendon sheaths, mild on the left hind and marked on the right hind. Lameness examination revealed a 2+ out of 5 lameness in her right hind limb at the trot. Upper and lower flexion tests resulted in mild t moderate and mild increases in lameness, respectively. The area of the skin over the right hind deep digital flexor tendon sheath was steriley prepped and 15ml of Carbocaine injected into the sheath. Upon repeat examination following local anesthetic injection, there was approximately a 75% reduction in lameness in the right hind at the trot.
Sonographic evaluation revealed a small local lesion in the superficial digital flexor tendon approximately 4cm proximal to the annular ligament of the fetlock joint, possibly resulting from a torn adhesion. The superficial and deep digital flexor tendons were noted to glide smoothly past one another. Additionally, an area of mild tendonitis was noted in the superficial digital flexor tendon just proximal to the annular ligament. As seen previously on sonographic examination, the area of previous tendonitis is improved however an area of mild tendonitis was noted in the left hind superficial digital flexor tendon distally, which is new as well.
As we discussed, due to its location, there is the possibility of the annular ligament of the fetlock putting pressure on the deep digital flexor tendon sheath and causing some discomfort. There is the possibility of surgically transecting this ligament to relieve this; we discussed this as an option for the future if needed. We agreed to treat conservatively and implement a controlled exercise program, allowing time for the tendon to heal."
We briefly discussed PRP with this particular lesion but shrugged it off pretty quickly, seeing as it is very close to the surface of the tendon. It is likely that everything would just leak back out into the tendon sheath versus stay put and do what it is intended to do. Given the location of the injury, we did discuss the possibility that the annular ligament around the back of her fetlock might be putting pressure on the tendon sheath and causing discomfort. They said maybe in the future if we needed to we could surgically transect it. I said no. I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to get the swelling down and gone with cold therapy and time.
And in the end, that is what we collectively agreed on. Time. We obviously need to immediately rest her and cool out the legs, but beyond that? Honestly, I've got all the time in the world. Maybe I'll take up my roommate's boss' offer to swap out horses and let her go live outside 24/7 for a few months while I take on a horse to see if we can get her sold. Maybe I'll just spend the summer lightly trail riding. Maybe I won't get on at all. Maybe I'll decide to teach her a bunch of dog-and-pony-show trick. Yeah, I think I'll do that.
Pick a trick, readers. I'll teach her how and get back to you once she knows it. That will be fun. Just don't suggest teaching her how to rear on command.
As for the next two weeks, we are on strict rest with 10 minutes of handwalking once a day, cold-tubbing twice a day, and icing twice a day as well. She is ticked about not going outside, but she has a nice big fluffy pile of hay in front of her, and she is still sparkling clean from her bath and has a freshly pulled mane. Maybe 2010 is our year to do silly things - explore, swim, trail ride, hang out - and then next year will be THE year. This year is also looking like the time to breed. So maybe, just maybe, this time next year we will have a bouncing, rearing bundle of love on the way to all ooh and aah over. I'd love that.
I am surprisingly not too bad about all this. Clearly, I'm not happy but at the same time my life isn't over. She's healthy, gorgeous and happy. She just has some funny legs right now, that's all.
Hey. I've got some funny legs too. We'll get through this. I know we will. It just takes time, and determination, and love. And time. Did I mention time?
There's not too much I've had to say lately. What was a snowballingly good week ended with a crash a few days ago, as you know, and everything has been pretty crappy since then. Even the weather has tanked, and our beautiful sunny 70-degree weather has turned to a chilly, misty rain. My clients are all increasingly moody with the foul weather, the horses all seem to be popping up with huge and mysterious lamenesses/illnesses, and a dear friend of mine who is part of my little extended family at my old job is in the hospital and not doing well at all. I can't seem to get my head on straight this week either. I've been having a lot of fun with my new honey, that's for sure, but when she's not around there's not too much to be smiling about. Part of the reason I'm good at my job is that I have absolutely no ability to deal with unhappy clients, so I break my back every day to make sure every last need of theirs is met and then some. For the most part, I have exceptionally happy and complimentary clients, but I'm not Superwoman and I can't make everyone happy, and miscommunications do happen sometimes. Mentally I'm not good with dealing with that kind of stuff. I have a bunch of mystery lamenesses in the barn right now, none of which make sense or have an explanation, which is the main reason for everyone being so funked out and moody, myself included. I'm not a hero and I can't fix everything, and that kills me.
And Gogo. Honestly, at this point all I can do is fall back into a chair and stare at the situation blankly. It makes absolutely no sense at all and I don't know what it is. Last week, she was being exceptional. It really felt like we were getting somewhere. I was pushing her just a little bit harder, very midly increasing what I was asking of her, and on Sunday and Monday of last week had two of the best dressage rides I've ever had with her. Honestly, on Tuesday I felt mere movements away from Second Level. Quite clearly we couldn't do too much, and I know I sure as hell felt my abs the next day so I'm sure she did too, but she honestly offered up all on her own a new level of collection which she's never given me before, all on her own. She was light, responsive, and electric in a way I've never felt before. I felt like I could have asked anything of her and she would have done it, no matter what it was. It really did feel like Second Level was right there in our grasp, just a matter of strength and some more time before we really could do it. I got off feeling like I was on top of the world, ready to take on anything. It was amazing.
Tuesday, I hacked her up the road, up to 45 minutes of walking with a few minutes of trot on the flat parts. She, however, did not feel quite as even or good as she had been, so I ceased trotting and thought about it for a minute. I trotted again. There, just a little. Was I imagining it? I wasn't sure. Which leg? Couldn't tell. Was she tired from the day before, was it me? I sure as hell was achey. I stopped again, walked back to the barn, stripped her tack and had someone jog her for me. Nope, she looked just fine, beautifully sound, better than she's ever looked. I felt a little funny about it, but turned her out and let her do her thing. The legs were quiet and cool all day, and I wrapped them that evening, just in case.
Wednesday was my day off, but I just so happened to be at the barn anyway because as a barn manager, I never actually ever seem to have a day without calls, texts, e-mails and the like. We had another broken horse, so I was tending to him when the farrier showed up. I just so happened to ask him to help me work on Gogo's feet when I was done with the big red horse, so we pulled her out and started in. Every since the stifle injection, Gogo has been standing with her RH turned out just a hair when she's on crossties. I've not mentioned that before on the blog because honestly I didn't know what to think about it, and none of the vets seemed that concerned. I've not been convinced and have kept a wary eye on it, but so far it has been nothing. What the vets thought was that it was likely a strength issue that would correct itself with time and conditioning. I mentioned this to the farrier and we scoured her over, discussing what it might be, if anything. When we worked on her LH, she hopped around a little, as if she wasn't quite comfortable on her RH. That did not make me happy. I chose not to ride her that day, and instead turned her out and watched her cruise around the little paddock with a very attractive, albeit shortlived, sound-looking trot.
And then came Thursday. Wanting to see if I could replicate a little bit of the brilliance I had on Tuesday, I went out to ride with a purpose. She felt fabulous so I figured that on Tuesday she must have been just a little bit muscle tired, which was understandable. She moved off into her work well, with a little bit of fuss but not much, and gave me some fantastic work. And then I asked her to canter, going right. She immediately flung her head into the air, legs in all directions on all different leads, bolting off on the circle around the short end of the ring. I managed to bring her back to a walk, wondering what the heck that was all about, and asked her to trot. BAM! Three-legged, toe-dragging lame. Exactly the same as last time. And similar to the second incident as well. To have her do it a third time, in the same situation as always? There has to be more going on. This isn't right. The lameness has resolved itself again, and the legs have stayed cool and quiet. Which is leading me back up higher... way higher. That's right, that stupid stifle. We may have found inflammation via the bone scan and we may have injected the joint, but that does not seem to have done anything for her. If this were a ligament injury, I would have expected improvement with the rest. I would have expected improvement with the increase in hillwork and strength work we've done. I would not expect a grand crashing down of all our hard work every time we try to start cantering again.
I did have a reader mention locking stifles to me once, which is a possibility. I find it odd that it would only occur on one side? Honestly though, I'm out of ideas otherwise. She's going back up to Tufts as soon as I can get her there. I don't know when that is going to be. For now, she's just getting muddy and delightfully disgusting in our smallest turnout. I would love her to go in the bigger ones, but I can't chance it until I know what is going on. She is still treadmilling too on the lowest setting, since she is sound at the walk. I've also just been hopping on her bareback and walking around a little, just for fun. I'm trying to stay positive about all this.
Which is not easy.
But I am trying. That is for sure.
I've gotten a bunch of e-mails from you guys, I'm sorry I haven't written back yet. I will, I promise. Just give it a little more time.
I haven't fallen off the face of the earth or died, I promise. I've just been feeling the spring fever and have been avoiding being inside and on the computer when I could be outside playing in the sunshine instead. I have a lot to write about. Gogo was coming along beautifully, amazingly, and I was feeling on top of the world. And then yesterday, she came up dead hobbling lame again mid-ride, just like before. And again today, she's 85% better already. But clearly, there is something we've missed going on. My suspicion is stifle. But at this point, I don't know.
I hate this. I'm always a few degrees off-center when my Gogo isn't right. I'm not going to be okay until I find out what the hell is going on. We'll be going back up to Tufts next Tuesday because they'll be able to more definitively diagnose what's going on, and of course demand three times the money of my regular vet. Insurance is all over for this claim... it's all out of pocket now, and that's hard. That's all my hard-earned and penny-pinched money I've put away for the show season. Which, unfortunately, isn't going to be happening anymore.
My friends are making me go out again tonight. They always do this when I'm down to try and make me feel better. Honestly, all it does it make me want to be alone.
(I do apologize for the temporary silence since my past post, but as you know, it is BIRTHDAY MADNESS WEEK so I've been out every single night raising a little hell. I finally had a rest night last night and spend it catching up on some oh-so-needed sleep. Tonight, we head into NYC for a big party and then I get to spend tomorrow sightseeing around the City. How is it that I've been in CT a year but haven't been??)
Spring is doing its very best to come to CT. It was nearly 60 degrees yesterday, and it will be today and tomorrow too. All the horses are feeling serious spring fever, and so am I. Not only has this week been fantastic for birthday celebrations, but it's been an amazing one on the Gogo front as well. She's done more and worked harder this week than she has since the accident, and those legs and her soundness are holding up. Since it's been so warm, the legs do tend to fill in funny, lumpy ways, but they're never unusually warm or big, and they're always variations on the same level of fill - AKA giant, ugly Windpuffs of Doom. Every day my favorite boarder and I run our hands down those legs, and every day find pretty much the same thing. Quite honestly, I think I just have to relearn what is normal for her. The legs will never, ever look normal again. They just won't. It's just a matter now of determining what the new normal is.
I hadn't been on Gogo in three days when I finally got back in the saddle on Thursday. I hadn't wanted to be off of her for that long, but that was just how things worked out last week, so I accepted it as such and moved on. I had a really fantastic dressage-y ride on Friday - finally, we are really approaching "real" dressage work versus just walk trot canter on the bit for X amounts of time. She was a bit fussy and a bit bouncy, but once she settled in, she gave me some really nice moments, including three broken canter circles to the right (she kept breaking at the same spot), and three CONSECUTIVE canter circles to the left! That's way more canter than she's been able to do, and she actually took a contact for part of it and maintained it. And she felt physically capable of it, stronger - like she could have kept going without a problem. I left it as that, did some more trotwork, and let her cruise around on the buckle for awhile. I've not really been able to do that much in the indoor since there are door monsters and a loose rein usually means it takes that much longer to stop her when she flees from the door monster. She's actually been quite good down there, but much like last year in March, she's just done with the indoor. Just... done. Remember when she did this last year? Very similar situation here, except we weren't really backsliding mentally, just physically. (Not anymore!) So my solution to that since it's been so gorgeous outside? RIDE OUTSIDE! Saturday we hacked. We hacked way further off the property than we'd ever been - hell, it was the first time hacking off the property at all. I've been limiting her to the small hills and trails around our property, but since the grass has been so soft and went, I was unable to ride on it at all. Instead, I decided to challenge her a little with the lower-grade hillwork and try something a little more intense. We hacked for the same period of time plus 5 minutes, same as we always do, but went allll the way up the road on a small but steady incline to the first four-way stop, and back again. She was SO HAPPY! Ears pricked, big march in her step, loop in the reins. It was early - maybe 8:30am - and the sun was glittering through the trees, the weather still chilly. It felt just like old times, and it was beautiful. And I'll be doing it again today. :D
These past two days, I've continued to push, just a little, without actually pushing, if I can explain that. Our enormous and gorgeous outdoor has FINALLY thawed and dried enough for it to be ridden on, but is still a little wet and squashy - think giant turfy sponge - but I've been letting the boarders out there for some limited riding. I also got to ride out, much to my joy (and to Gogo's too), but instead of putting on dressage tack and continuing in that way, I decided to have a little fun. Out came the jump saddle, jacked up stirrups and all! Since the footing is still soft up there - by no means turf-able, just softer than the stuff in the indoor and much wetter - I decided to let her get used to it and buzz around with me in my half-seat versus stress her body our trying to compensate for correctness in new footing while the tendon is still in the final stages healing. And WHEEEEEEE! She was FRESH, but SO good. She had a huge park trot going - you knew she would! - and was shaking her head all over the place, something she never does. She also, of course, had to throw in a little Gogo flavor, and did what the other rider in the ring affectionately called a handstand: a backcracking vertical bronc buck with her head between her knees! She NEVER bucks unless she's feeling ridiculously good and fresh, so I was smiling as she went plunging down the long side from there, striking out with both front legs every canter stride. The other boarder's comment? "That was cute." Oh Gogo. She also displayed her more studdish side, spooking away from something and doing this (which I know because I saw a flash of pastel blue bell boot in front of me!), then did the Execute Stallion Rear Program and bounced up and down, shaking her head and waving her front legs like any colt at play might. She then came down and stood totally immobile with her ears pricked, as if to say, "Sorry mom... just, man! I feel like a woman." Oh Gogo...
Yesterday I continued on the theme of doing-something-productive-without-feeling-like-being-productive, and used my jump tack again, letting her have a looser rein and moving at fair speed around the ring. No smaller circles, no complicated movements, just power and speed. She offered a canter at some point, and I got up in my half seat and let her. And she felt GOOD. She felt SO good. Our outdoor is enormous and she went once, twice, three times around with no problem before I pulled her up. We went the other way and same thing - a big, powerful canter, bigger and stronger than ever, no hesitations anywhere. I know we weren't actually going that fast but to me, it felt like flying. It felt like nothing in the world. She even started to consider breaking a sweat, and so did I, the first time that's happened since September. We finished the ride with a hack on the buckle up the driveway... I haven't been able to let her have such a loose rein outside yet.
Truly a good week. Truly, truly.
As for today, we hack again, and then Gogo get her Rabies and Coggins pulled. I am feeling really paranoid about spring shots this year - who wouldn't after all that reaction nonsense - but we are going to seriously space everything about and take every precaution we can. Yeesh though... not looking forward to it, not at all.
You won't hear from me for a few days since I am off to NYC, and then Friday is my actual BIRTHDAY! Who's excited I'm excited!
The first clovers are coming up, birds are chirping, sun is shining... spring is almost here!!
February is OVER! YES! Like I said last month, I am not much of a February kind of girl, but actually aside from Gogo's mystery on and off lameness, I had a decent month. Unffortunately, Gogo's level of soundness/happiness is often pretty closely linked to my corresponding level of happiness. I'm feeling much better about it at this point - I did attempt a half a circle of canter in one direction on Monday, but then gave her two days off just in case, so we shall see today what her legs look like (it was my day off yesterday so I didn't go to the barn at all).
Onto the February analysis...
1) Start canterwork, building from 5 minutes for the first two weeks to 10 for an additional two weeks, then resume regular flatwork sessions in the beginning of March Well, obviously we didn't get quite that far given our little setbacks. Hopefully those are over and done with, and we can get back to trying a little canterwork this week. The idea is that we'll do exactly the same canterwork schedule in March that we were supposed to do in February, and hopefully this time there will be no more issues!
2) Map out a hacking plan - where to start with little hills, how to gradually increase... building over the course of a couple months to our regular 2-hour hacks This was completed, and I had a plan mapped out through May, but I actually think I am going to change it so I ride flat for four days and hack for two, so I will have to alter the schedule somewhat. Which won't be hard to do. I want to keep things interesting for Gogo (and for me too) so that she (and I) don't go totally nuts doing the same thing in the indoor every day... we all know how well THAT works for Gogo. So I will come up with a new plan, and keep you guys posted.
3) Add incline work on the treadmill Success! She is now going on the second level instead of the first. It's hardly an incline at all, really, but it's a start!
4) Wean gradually off the nighttime wraps to just every other night Success, sorta! We're actually leaving the wraps off more often than not, just wrapping when the legs look questionable or we've done something difficult that might warrent overnight wraps. For the most part, the legs have stayed cool and quiet, although once in awhile they fill a little more than I am comfortable with. I expected this, and it's not surprising, but still.
5) MAYBE if everything goes according to plan and we are back to regular work at the end of the month, a trip to the beach!? (Just to walk around in the water and smell the salty air!) Yeah... not so much. But once again, I hope to do this in March instead of February. The beaches are only open to horses until the very end of March, so hopefully it'll work out this time!
March Goals: 1) Start canterwork, building from 5 minutes for the first two weeks to 10 for an additional two weeks, then resume regular flatwork sessions in the beginning of March 2) Continue to build our hacks up to an hour of walk work (revamp plan as well so we have a more concrete idea) 3) Move to the next incline level on the treadmill 4) MAYBE if everything goes according to plan and we are back to regular work at the end of the month, a trip to the beach!? (Just to walk around in the water and smell the salty air!) 5) Near the end of the month, reevaluate show season - where we stand, where it looks like we'll be, and what we will need to do to have a successful show season (finances, opening dates, rejoining organizations should her soundness continue
It's Birthday Madness Week! I am turning 25 on the 12th, so I figured since one doesn't turn a quarter of a century old every day that I should have an entire WEEK dedicated to it. Only now it's more like a week and a half because we started the celebration yesterday with a little personal lovin'. I have a fantastic new haircut and an awesome new tat on the back of my neck. LOVE it. It means that I personally identify as a girl who likes girls, and that love is universal and a right everyone shares. It's not so much about me personally as it is something I believe in and will fight for tooth and nail until the day I die. Love it.
I've been tagged! By, well, a lot of people, lol. ;)
Thanks to everyone who tagged me, I really appreciate it! I am really bad about coming up with things (seven WHOLE things!?) about myself that you don't already know, so some of you may have already heard some of these:
1. I have secret fantasies about life suddenly becoming a musical, and being able to step outside into a huge dance number where everybody I meet falls into line behind me. I also want life to be like a movie where everybody's shopping bag has a huge loaf of french bread sticking out of it.
2. If there is a fountain anywhere near me and it is of a relatively agreeable temperature out, I WILL get into it.
3. The fight scenes between Cato and Inspector Clousea in the original Pink Panther movies CRACK ME UP every single time I see them. The slow-mo NEVER gets old!
4. It's a life goal of mine to see every national park in the US, and I'm well on my way. I also want to see every national park in every country I ever visit, but that would mean a lot of starting over because places like Canada have an awful lot of them.
5. I am deathly, deathly, deathly, deathly, deathly afraid of needles coming anywhere near me. I can give injections to horses all the live long day. But needles near ME? Dear god, I'd rather go to jail for killing the doctor coming at me with a needle than actually get the shot. I'd rather gouge out my own eyes with a rusty spoon than get a shot. I'd rather die painfully from whatever horrible disease I had than get the shot that would save my life from said horrible disease. It's that bad.
6. I've had a LOT of interesting haircolors. Bleach blonde with red highlights, black with red highlights, black with purple highlights, regular purple, black and bleach blonde, black blonde and red, bright red... and once upon a time I had the sweetest faux hawk ever. I WANT IT BACK.
7. In a 12-hour period, I decapitated a deer AND t-boned a school bus right off the road with my old Jeep, which was bright orange and named Taco, although it also earned the nickname the Murder Machine after this. In honor of the deer, I chained antlers to the front of it. I also rocketed off a cliff, rear-ended another Jeep the same make, model, and color of mine, and did an over rotated 180 on the freeway into an overpass with my sister in the car, with my father on the phone at the time. He was not amused.
Bonus #8: I love being alive.
And I tag ALL OF YOU! Everyone who hasn't already gotten this award, consider yourself tagged!
Gogo is a 10-year-old dark bay Holsteiner mare who I purchased as a 5-year-old in PA in July of 2006. She came from a fantastic woman with a trainer I instantly disliked, and was just barely started, headstrong, and certainly promising. Her steering was not all there, and the trainer had her head cranked to her chest the entire ride. She also was shod in front with shoes and pads; after having repeated bad farrier jobs cripple my last horse, I was ready to give performance barefooting a try. She tossed both her shoes within a week of me owning her, and that was the last time she ever wore them. More setbacks in her training occured when I left her in the care of a trainer I trusted while I was studying abroad in New Zealand from January to June of 2007 - I came home to find her starved, beaten, and with a rearing problem. Lots and lots of time and hard work, and she's come a long way....
This blog follows her training, her travels, and also her feet! People say horses can't possibly successfully jump or event barefoot at the upper levels... I'm here to prove them wrong.
Proving her heart of gold and guts of steel at the 2009 American Eventing Championships
Show Name: Gogo Fatale
Barn Name: Gogo
Registered Name (AHHA): Revelea
Sire: Lemgo (Landgraf I x Elvira II)
Dam: Fandango (Fasolt x Shenango Lisa)
Color: Dark Bay
Markings: Tiny partial white coronets on both fronts, left hind white pastern, few white hairs on forehead, tiny white snip, tiny white moustache
Height: 16.1 1/2
DOB: June 2nd, 2001
Disciplines: Eventing, Dressage, Jumpers (and occasional contesting, trail, driving, and swimming!)
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Sunday Success Stories
Sunday Success Stories are a weekly feature here at Eventing-A-Gogo. Every Sunday we highlight a reader's own personal journey through overcoming adversity with their horses, sometimes against all odds. These stories are about those who never gave up, and who made a difference in the life of an animal who just needed a little love and care in order to turn around. Send your success stories, past or present, to
For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around horses. I've been riding since the age of 7, and doing dressage and eventing since the age of 15. My first gelding was a little black Trakehner named Quincy who had had EPM at some point; he was the best friend an emotional teenager could have ever wanted. He died of a horrible colic in 2004. My second gelding was a dark bay clunker of a Trakehner named Metro; he was the best schoolmaster and friend I ever could have asked for, and he trucked my butt around my first real x-country courses, and brought me my first really fancy ribbons. Due to a whole slew of problems, we euthanized him in 2006. My third horse was the quirky and opinionated Gogo, my first youngster and my first mare. She taught me endless amounts of patience, the importance of praise and soft hands, how to graciously accept mass amounts of blue ribbons one moment and how to graciously accept a dose of humble butt-whooped pie the next. After a long and downhill rehab for compounded leg injuries, we let her go in October of 2011. What's next for me? Follow along and find out!
What kind of footware does your event horse sport?
69.7%, Reserve Champion first time at First Level!
March 14, 2009: Mount Holyoke Saturday Sizzler Jumper Show, Division IV Jumpers (2'9"-3'); Two 4ths
April 5, 2009: Mount Holyoke Sunday Sizzler Jumper Show, Division V Jumpers (3'3"-3'6"); Two 3rds
May 10, 2009: King Oak Farms H.T. (Novice); 1st place, 31.1 (Double clear stadium & XC!)
May 30, 2009: Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. (Novice); 1st place, 30.0 (Double clear stadium & XC!)
June 26-28, 2009: Groton House Farm H.T. (Novice); 1st place, 31.5 (Double clear stadium & XC!)
July 12, 2009: ENYDCTA/Old Chatham H.T. (Novice CH); RF (34.1, tied for 4th after dressage, dumped on XC!)
July 19, 2009: Riga Meadow H.T. (Novice); 8th (1st after dressage & stadium with a 34, one runout XC)
August 23, 2009: Huntington Farm H.T. (Novice); 5th place, 33.5 (3rd after dressage with a 29.5, 2nd after perfect XC, one rail stadium)
September 11-13, 2009: American Eventing Championships (Novice Horse CH); 30.5 after dressage (in 7th), double clear XC (moved to 6th), W after tendon injuries sustained on XC (would have finished 4th out of 40 with a clean stadium round)
February 2nd, 2008: Chagrin Valley Farms Schooling H/J Show, Novice Jumpers; Two 5ths
February 17, 2008: Lake Erie College H/J Winter Series, Novice Jumpers; 5th
March 14-16, 2008: Lake Erie College Dressage Winter Series, Training/First Level; T3 65.2% (2nd), T4 66% (1st!), F1 69.66% (1st!), F2 63.8% (2nd), First Level Reserve Champion!
March 29-30, 2008: Lake Erie College H/J Winter Series, Adult Amateur Hunters, Novice Jumpers; Hunters 4th, 6th, 6th; Jumpers 5th, 7th
April 18-20, 2008: Lake Erie College Dressage Prix de Villes, First Level; F1 60% (2nd), F2 53.3%, F3 57% (6th), Team "LEC's That's What She Said" 3rd place team! (Scary show where she was in freakish heat, which was obv. in our scores....)
June 7, 2008: South Farm Combined Test, Novice; 1st, 26.0 (Double Clear)!
June 21-22, 2008: Encore H.T., Beginner Novice; 3rd, 42.5 (1st after dressage 38.5, one rail stadium)
July 4-6, 2008: South Farm H.T., Beginner Novice Horse; 1st, 26.6 (1st after dressage 22.6, one rail stadium)!
August 8-10, 2008: Hunters Run H.T., Beginner Novice Horse; 1st, 33.0 (Double Clear)!
August 16h, 2008: Erie Hunt & Saddle Club H.T., Beginner Novice; 2nd, 32.5 (Double Clear)
August 24, 2008: Ellrick Farms Schooling H/J Show, Training Jumper (3'); Two 4ths, one 5th
August 30-31, 2008: South Farm Fall H.T., Area 8 BN Championships; W (1st after dressage, 28.5)
September 10-14, 2008: American Eventing Championships, Beginner Novice Horse; 6th, 33.0 (Double Clear)!
July 7-8, 2007: South Farm H.T., Beginner Novice Horse; 6th, 39.0 (Double Clear)
July 20-22, 2007: Dressage at Waterloo, Training Level 1-4; T1 63% (5th), T2 62% (5th), T3 (3rd), T4 63.2 (5th), 60% (6th)
August 11-12, 2007: Dressage at Grand Haven, Training Level 1-4; T1 60.9% (5th), T2 69% (1st!), T3 61.6% (4th), T4 62.8% (5th), 60.4%
September 16th, 2007: South Farm Mini Trial, Beginner Novice Horse; 1st, 31.5 (Double Clear)!
September 30, 2007: Spinning Wheel Fun Show, All Gymkhana; Seven 1sts, two 2nds, one 3rd
October 7th, 2007: South Farm Fall Hunter Pace, Flat Division; 10th
November 9-11, 2007: Lake Erie College Dressage Winter Series, Training 1-4; T1 65% (2nd), T2 69.3% (1st)!, T3 66% (2nd), T4 64% (3rd)
Sept 17, 2006: South Farm Mini Trial, Intro Horse; 3rd, 39.0 (Double Clear)
October 7th, 2006: Mane Event Fun Show, Barrels, Stakes, Fanny Race!; 5th, 6th, 6th