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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shaken Not Stirred!

Introducing... MARTINI!

Firstly PLEASE yell at me for having forgotten my helmet. You know I never ever go without one but I was a total idiot and did it for this one ride. I don't care that he's a total sweetie and a simple cakewalk under saddle, ANYTHING can still happen. PLEASE scold me and tell me how totally ashamed of me you are and what a completely hypocritial moron I am!

But yes! My idiocy aside, I have finally found my perfect second horse situation! If you've been following my eternal what-do-I-ride-now saga, you'll remember I've been back and forth about breeding, leasing, or buying. When it came down to it, I didn't really think Gogo was worthy of being a breeding animal just yet, so I shelved that idea for this year and figured I'd revisit it at a later date. On the same note, I realized that I actually have no interest in owning another competition horse unless it was Gogo or Gogo's baby. Since I already own Gogo (duh) despite her inability to be ridden at the moment, and since I decided not to pursue breeding, I also put that idea away. Really, horses are damn expensive. To buy a second horse at this moment in my life would just be dumb. What if it didn't end up being suitable for what I want to do? And what if it breaks? You know my bleeding heart won't give up an animal I'm in love with. Should something happen to my hypothetical second horse, owning two large hayburners would just be ridiculous.

But I still wanted something to ride. I still wanted something to compete and play with. And I still wanted something that wasn't like every boring generic plain bay on the planet. I wanted something I could take on as a project while Gogo was healing and doing her horsey thing, but that I wouldn't have to commit to buy in case it didn't turn out to be suitable for me for some reason. But where was I going to find that?

Enter the magical good karma horse gods. Apparently I dealt well enough with all of last month's bad karma to be thrown a serious bone. (Also have totally found the total love of my life right here in the Fort Worth area... enormously huge story obviously but not relevant to this blog so you'll have to ask elsewhere. Clearly I was meant to come to Texas!) Marti's owner had an ad on advertising him for free lease provided she could find the right situation for him. She was not looking to sell and doesn't have any intention of ever doing so; I am not looking to buy. She only wanted to send him somewhere within a three hour drive of her; I am an hour away. He is a strangely roan colored Belgian/App cross who turned out surprisingly well; I wanted something funky looking but still well put together. She wanted someone to give him some training and experience; I wanted something to give training and experience. When I contacted her about the ad, it was on a whim, just to see if she was still interested in leasing him out. Her first reply was that she was surprised that I somehow found the ad, she was sure she had taken it down because of all of the stupid responses she had gotten! She got asked if she'd have him shipped to Mexico.... ummm don't think so!

It's a perfect match. He is 5 with a good base on him, about where he should be for being such a young big guy. He walk/trot/canters and steers but doesn't know anything beyond leg-means-go yet. He is forward but enjoyably so, not too speedy and definitely not one you need to keep your leg on all the time. He was a PMU baby pulled off a lot as a weanling - nobody wanted him because he was an ugly duckling! (And I have seen pictures, he really WAS an ugly duckling!!) Somehow he turned out totally lovely... who knew!
He is totally eye-catching AND a cute mover. I've been out to ride him a few times and I LOVE him. Not sure if he shows talent over fences or not yet as I've only plopped him over a tiny crossrail a few times, but he was totally 100% willing to try, so maybe he could be a lower level be-bopper! He could absolutely do some lower level dressage and totally clean up. On my end of the lease all I am required to do is provide day-to-day care (expenses for feed and the like), and she will be covering vet and farrier expenses. He's exactly perfect for me, as is the situation, and according to the owner I am exactly the person she had in mind for a lease, so we have a contract drafted and ready to be signed and he is scheduled to arrive here on the 11th!


Boy is my equitation rusty or what! Oye!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Which Gogo Proves that even Foal-Safe Fencing is not Gogo-Safe

Oh, Gogo.
Oh. Gogo.
Gogo, Gogo.

I think it can be safely said that Gogo is trying her hardest to discourage me from this whole 24/7 turnout thing. She, in her special Gogo way, is doing her absolute best to get into every single bit of trouble she possibly could now that I have removed her perpetual bubblewrap and have kicked her out into the night. Mysterious bleeding scrapes and wounds freshly appear on her every single day, and interesting bumps and swellings show up on various, confusing parts of her body, like on top of her butt (how??). Her leg has been ugly at best, and shows signs of potentally acute damage (great). One moment she seems at peace with her life, and the next she is galloping out of her shed at the slightest noise, poised trembling at the edge of the field as though monsters might come leaping off the top of her run-in at any moment. She seems happy, sort of. Or well, she seems to be settling into this odd new routine a little more as every day passes by. Watching her standing there eating her breakfast in the early morning light gives me absolutely no satisfaction at all. In fact, it's kind of depressing. She's filthy, and no amount of cleaning will ever get this nasty red dirt out of her hair until I can give her a bath again. And she's not really even enjoying it, I don't think. She'll probably get used to it. She seemed pretty happy yesterday, so I figured hey, maybe she's starting to really 'get it' and settle down and be happy with life!

Enter today. Morning comes early, and I hardly slept last night (on purpose, so it was okay!). I toodled out to her pasture on my way to work, tossed her some food, pulled off her blanket, and did my customary leg check like I do every day.

Hmmmmm. That right hind sure is huge today. Really huge. And.... wet?
Blood. It's blood. She's bleeding.

In the early morning light I see that she has shredded the inside of her right hind. Her left hind also shows damage, mostly in the form of her chestnut being nearly totally ripped OFF - down to the bleeding skin. There is nothing to put a stitch in, it's all just superficial, but it's pretty extensive. I groan, play quickie-doctor on her, clean and dress the wound rapidly, and rush off to work. At lunchtime, I come back to try and figure out what the hell happened, and to better attend to her wounds.

That beautiful, expensive, foal-safe diamond mesh fencing that everyone (including me) lovea and raves about? Don't know how, and don't know why, but she appears to have gotten hung up in it. Badly. The vast majority of the field has diamond mesh, sturdy wooden posts, and three strands of smooth twist high tensile wire overtop, making the fence nearly 6' tall. I am not a fan of high tensile of any sort, but this is fairly safe in terms of location and use (three strands very high up, all above the 4-5' or so of diamond mesh). However, there is one section of the fence where there is only diamond mesh and wooden posts, and no strands of high tensile. This is a piece of fence that Gogo and the horse next door share. There is nothing dangerous about this section of fence. It's different than the rest of the fence, but it's still well-attached and very safe. I like this fencing because it's great for enclosing such a large space while still keeping it safe - no evil barbed wire!

But apparently, the fact that diamond mesh is very expensive and made just for tricksters like Gogo did not deter her at all. Sometime in the night, it appears that Gogo kicked at her neighbor and then came down partly on the other side of the fence. She tore both herself and the fence up, but neither were serious. Still though.... gahhh. I threatened her with euthanasia this morning if she didn't shape up.

You win this round fence!! Hopefully with all the good cleansing, bandaging, and Banamine-ing, she'll be all right.

We hope, anyway.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One more thing to be totally terrified of....


Fire is a whole new realm of danger for a girl coming out of soggy New England. Out in the flat, bone-dry climate of Northeast Texas, fire is a serious issue and not even in the dead of winter can it be escaped. (By dead of winter, I of course mean 60 degrees and beautifully sunny, but you know.) Everything is seriously dry out here, and the wind howls pretty much nonstop, so we have a seemingly neverending burn ban for the entire area. What happened today was purely accidental; someone down the road was welding and a single spark escaped onto the grass beneath his truck. Before he knew what was happening, the whole area was on fire and spreading fast. The winds today were blowing steadily at somewhere between 20-30mph, and the fire spread from the grass to nearby roundbales, trees and buildings. I had just handed a horse off to my boss to go ride, and she hadn't been out of the barn for more than 5 minutes when one of our own welders who was there putting in new pipe paddocks came sprinting into the barn. "Brush fire," he breathed. "She said put halters on all the horses and get ready." I tossed halters on all the horses in the barn, and trotted out to see what was going on outside. The neighbor's property was lightly smoking, and I could see my boss and her horse stopped at the far edge of our property, watching intently. Without warning, the fire engulfed a metal barn, and huge clouds of billowing black smoke exploded into the air. I could see loose horses galloping wildly around near the blaze, and for a moment didn't know what to do. I had never seen anything like it. Then my boss, whose house burned completely to the ground just a few months ago, appeared at my side to give direction. In a heartbeat, we had her rig hitched and pulled forward, the welder's truck hitched to the other trailer, halters and boots on all the horses, and all six of them loaded, along with all our important tack. The smoke billowed higher and blackened, firetrucks roared onto the scene, and still the neighbor's horses galloped. We stood at the back of the loaded trailers, dogs all in the trucks, waiting to see if the wind would change. Our property backs up to a river, and the prevailing winds almost always take flames away from us. We were lucky this time, although we might not be out of the woods yet. Roundbales are still burning, and the blaze isn't totally contained even now. The fire flanked the road for a good long way on my drive home, and the charred damage path spread nearly a mile. Trees, fences, buildings and more were all totally destroyed. If the wind changes at all tonight, we might very well be totally screwed.

This is the one thing that terrifies me about keeping my horse where she is. If a single spark catches in her field, the blaze will be instantly out of control and she'll have nowhere to go except over or through a fence. She is probably smart enough to jump out over a fence, but I don't think I can guarantee that. Nobody is there at that property during the weekday, so I'd never know about it until it was too late. Same goes for tornadoes... and there is NOTHING you can do if a tornado drops in the middle of her field. Fires and tornadoes are real and serious threats in my area, and truth be told, they kinda freak me out. Okay, they REALLY freak me out.

I guess I know what I absolutely need to do ASAP.... microchip my horse. If a fire takes out my field, everyone tells me to just open the gate and let her loose. Better a loose horse than a charred dead horse. God knows that plain dark bay horses around here are a dime a dozen, and she needs a way to be identified should something happen. Aside from a distinctive freezebrand, a microchip is probably my best chance at not losing her forever should something terrible happen.

Anyone have any fire/tornado/disaster recommendations?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Moving Day Success!

Hooray! Gogo has FINALLY been successfully moved to the 15 acre pasture! It only took me two months to get her onto 24/7 turnout, but the moment has finally come! Words cannot describe how thrilled I am. This is EXACTLY what she needs.

Time to roll out! We finally got our patuckuses out of bed and got down to the barn. But I was definitely still in my pjs.

Gogo made sure to make nasty goodbye faces at the new mare. I guess they were probably more like good riddance faces.

Yay we made it 10 minutes down the road! Broken halter and all! We're a collective hot mess today. Normally this horse doesn't get on the trailer with a speck of dirt on her anywhere... and normally I don't leave the house looking like such a trainwreck.

Into the pasture we go... breaking the ice out of the trough (yes it actually was that cold today)... annnnnnd FREE!

She completely 100% approved.

Life is good.

In two other important pieces of news....
1) Denali's Mom's gift is finally underway!! Yaaaay!!
2) I tried a potential free lease today, another weird color horse... this time a Belgian/App who was a PMU baby and somehow came out astonishingly well-balanced and totally adorable. I loved him and am in the process of working out details to get him as a catch ride for a year or so while Gogo rehabs... stay tuned for more details!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Angelina Ballerina

Gogo's move to the 15 acre field has unfortunately been postponed until Friday. Yesterday was supposed to be move day, but we had a sudden surprise boarder show up with two horses at our door... wtf! Well, it happens, I suppose. Unfortunately for me, the addition of two unforseen horses meant that Gogo suddenly found herself new neighbor that she did NOT approve of. Enter Angelina Ballerina.... the horse who never stops standing on her hind legs.

O, the beautiful balance! O, the incredible loft! To see my mare eternally en pointe, walking around her stall with grace and ease! Suddenly, she strikes out with a front foot - o what poetry! She hooks the leg overtop the uppermost bars of her stall, missing her new neighbor's head by mere inches! O, the ferocity in her dance!

And that's when she got banished to the stall at the end of the barn.


But did that stop her from continuing to attempt to murder her new neighbors? Of course not! Today I turned Gogo out with the old retired gelding (normally her neighbor), who is completly in love with her, and that worked out exceptionally well on all ends because it also opened up more paddock space. Unfortunately, it also created the problem of one new horse being in a paddock on the right side of Gogo's field, and the other new horse being in the other paddock on left side of Gogo's field. This meant that Gogo spent most of her day randomly exploding and galloping back and forth, charging at the other two horses whenever she felt they were getting too close to her man. The problem was not helped when all of the dogs got into the new mare's pen and chased her all over the place, sending the horses into a total frenzy. All in all, Gogo had more exercise yesterday and today than she probably has had in two months. She's totally bonkers.... in her stall or in the field, she is NOT having ANYTHING to do with these two new horses! She's also being completely nutty about wanting to go out in the morning, full on back-cracking bucking in place in her stall when the others get to go out before she does! Depite all this accidentla movement, her leg is not really any worse for the wear this evening. She's really quite sound right now! If you didn't know she had an injury, you'd never guess from the way she fluidly glides around her field.

She might not be feeling so hot tomorrow though. We'll just have to see, considering how much torque and stress she put on those hind legs today.

Oh, Gogo.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Message from Gogo

Hello subjects, this is me, your Queen. I have a diabolical plan for all horses to carry out. So humans, stop reading. Because we can't let you in on our secret plans.

Ok horses. So here's what you should do. The next time your human does not groom you for an entire week and then finally gets around to cleaning you up, you need to repay them kindly for all their hard work. Say for example, your human totally neglects you and forgets about your existance for a whole week even though she is shoving cookies into your mouth every day like she really ISN'T neglecting and forgetting you (she IS, don't listen to her lies!). Then one day, she takes you out of your house and curries you REALLY well. Then she sees the dirt won't come off so she vacuums you. Then she sees how you have vacuum marks so she grooms you for a really long time. Then she sees how dirty your legs are so she washes all of them. Then she sees how dirty your tail is so she washes it. Then she sees how your tail is getting long so she clips and bangs it. Then she sees how your mane is getting long so she pulls it and braids it over. Then she sees how your whiskers and bridlepath are getting long too so she clips them too. Then she puts Keratex on your feets. Then she buffs you off with a big towel. Then she washes out your nostrils with a clean washcloth and cleans the bits of dinner off of your face. Then she steps back to admire how gleamingly clean and beautiful you are, after a whole hour and a half of cleaning work. Nice of her, yes?

The next day, go out into your turnout. Find the muddiest patch of mud you can find. Roll in it and grind it into both sides of your body. Twice. Then spook at the cows next door and gallop and buck and sling mud all up onto your belly and coat your legs so you can't even see your socks. Then come into heat and pee alllllllllllll over your legs and tail. Then when your mom sees you and shrieks in horror, blow snot into her face on purpose.

This my friends is the true meaning of love. Giving your human an excuse to spend even MORE time with you. And give you MORE cookies.

Ok humans. You can start reading again. My mommy says something about moving tomorrow to a big huge field somewhere.... I'm not sure how I feel about this but I hear there is a lot of GRASS, and I like GRASS. A LOT. She also wanted to share some good music with you. The only music I really like is the sound of food being poured into my bucket, but maybe that's just an opinion.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Metro.

Oh, my Metro.

Five long years ago, my Metro went to sleep forever. Five years. I can't believe it. Five.
But time heals all pain. My memories of him are strong and rich. The neverending stream of 'what-ifs' that I had running through my head when we euthanized him has settled and faded away. We did right by the Cookieman. We let him be at peace, and let him go to a forever place where there are no seizures, no stall rest, and no painful limbs. And because of his sacrifice, I now have a beautifully barefooted Gogomare doing aerials in the field for my entertainment every day. I miss him every day.

- Somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again. -

You can honor his memory and read all my Metro posts here. I love you Cookieman, and I miss you with all my heart.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oh my, busy busy!

We'll soon return to regular scheduled Gogo time.... but this week has been totally nutty! That incredibly gorgeous Dobe I mentioned in my last post turned out to be violently aggressive towards other dogs, cats, and horses (but adorable to people!) so he unfortunately will not be a permanent addition to this little family. I LOVE the breed and desperately crave one, but he was not the right dog. He is going to make an AWESOME solo pet for someone who can offer that to him. That whole ordeal has taken up a large part of my past several days! I also agreed a few weeks ago to take on another kitty from a family who needed to rehome him, and he is finally here. He is doing all right, getting a little better every day - he had never seen another kitty up close before he got to my house so my big fat hairball was a shock to him. On top of all of that, the other day I was driving home from work in a rainstorm when I spotted something creamy-colored laying in the ditch on the side of the road. I stopped, hopped out of my car, and saw it was a very skinny, very tiny, and very soaked Balinese (or Siamese mix, possibly) who was crawling away under the wire fence. When she saw me, she turned right around, and came over to crawl into my lap. She was rail thin and shivering, and had an open and reeking wound on her tail. I put her in my coat and took her back to my house, her kneading and purring the entire time. One trip to the vet later, and she has a totally clean bill of health and a lanced abscess on her tail (ewww). Amazingly, she's parasite-free and FEL-negative, and knows how to use a litterbox. I think she was probably dumped and was laying there in the ditch in a rainstorm slowly starving to death. She was very dehydrated and SO hungry when I found her. She is still eating loads and has an incredibly large foodbelly now! The vet did not think she was pregnant, but I dunno man.... that is one heck of a hard, round belly she has going! It's huge! And she's parasite free so it can't be that!

I've been calling her Mimi because that is the only name that has popped into my head that actually suits her personality. She is the most seriously outgoing kitty I've ever met - she has NO fear. She loves my dog, loves the other cats, and love to EAT! She loves to be picked up, snuggled, cuddled, and lets you touch her all over the place - she loves a good belly rub. Jasper (the other new guy) loves to sneak around and pop out once in awhile but he's still pretty antisocial at this point... I think he is feeling like the odd man out in a house full of girls!

I plan on writing more about all the kids soon enough.... if and when I ever have a moment! I was asked about my greyhound too... I always have lots to say about her!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Moving Right Along

Daily life goes on with my temporarily retired horse. Much like I expected, it's not particularly interesting or exciting, and we don't do much of anything really. Every morning Gogo eats, goes out, grazes all day, and comes back in to her stall at 4pm. She eats hay at 8, 12, 2, 4, and 8pm. She looks a bit rounder than she did before she got here. She likes to be dusty but I tackle the red dirt every other day or so, despite the fact that it's a bit futile. I still enjoy it quite a lot.
This all being said, I don't honestly consider my horse to be retired and totally finished. Truth me told, I feel like a year in a field will do her wonders, and am considering this a year of rehab instead of just a total giving up on her and tossing her out to be a horse for the rest of forever. I really do think she'll come back and do something special and worthwhile. Really and truly, I do.
This opinion is shared by my boss and by her trainer. The trainer, M, is very well-respected around here and has coached Olympic riders year after year. She's seen about every injury you could possibly see. We pulled Gogo out the other day when she came to teach and ride at the barn, and jogged her out. I was doing the running, so I couldn't see really, but she said that she trotted off a bit lame but trotted back really quite well. At two months out from the reinjury, that sounds about right on, exactly the way it was the time before. This is encouraging though, because it means on turnout that she appears to be getting better instead of worse! M's take on this is that despite following the vet's advice to a T before, we did not give her enough time, which at this point I agree with. Her very Irish opinion of this is that for an injury like Gogo's, in order for there to be any chance at all you have to turn them out for a year and THEN start to get back on and tackwalk until you want to kill yourself, then trot until you want to kill yourself, and then canter until you want to kill yourself, and THEN you are good to go. This means not starting official rehab under saddle until the injury is officially 'healed'. This does make sense, certainly, but it's pretty opposite of the rehab we were doing before. In order to create proper healing, we used the under saddle controlled exercise to align the tendon fibers the right way and stimulate proper healing. Two different schools of thought, two different mindsets. I agree with M at this point because clearly, whatever we did before didn't work for some reason. Not giving her enough time before is now the painfully clear answer as to why this really didn't work the way it should have. At least, it's what I am willing to cling to as a potential answer at this point. I have hope that if I just give her time, time and more time.... that maybe she really will totally heal.
To give myself a severe timeframe that I will absolutely not budge from - one year off in turnout before I even THINK about reevaluating for a riding career - makes me honestly feel pretty good. There is no more uncertainty and brooding about what may or may not be best in terms of rehab. There is only one answer: DON'T change my plan and DO stick to my guns. One year off, and then we will reevaluate. That is that. And somehow, this feels like it is the right thing to do. It will be her best shot. And I really feel good about it.

I also know I said that I'm not going to do any goals, but honestly.... I kind of want to do some! Just some stupid ones like play all the Parelli games without majikal sticks and $150 rope halters, and whatever else I feel like doing. That will for sure keep the best of us pretty entertained for about 2 days! I also might have a horse to ride... yay! It's not Trout, who is apparently very unsound, but it's another very nice gelding (so I hear). His name is Murphy, and he's a black Morgan/TB/Irish cross. (Which may mean he's bats but... there you are!) I know Kippen and I have a half-serious bet going for getting new horses but honestly, the only horse I want to own right now is either Gogo, Gogo's baby, or Gogo's total twin clone. I don't want another horse if it's not one of those three options. Having something to ride will satisfy me quite enough for the time being, especially since I am just not ready to totally write Gogo off at this point. She really is my total dreamhorse, flaws and all. I wish I could just do a leg transplant on her. Wouldn't that be nice?

My landlord and I chatted briefly on the phone today about solidifying plans for bringing Gogo over to the 15 acre field sometime soon - as soon as he moves the roundbales out and fixes the small bit of fence that needs some work. Hopefully we'll be good to go on that pretty soon, maybe even within the week!

I might also have a new man in my life.... a training project of a different sort ;) More details soon!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Second Option

When it comes to turning Gogo out for the next year or so, it turns out that I have another option beyond just simply keeping her in the 5 acres behind my house. My landlord lives next door to me, and he owns about 30 acres of pasture land that he has only one horse out on right now. My 5 acres needs a lot of work in order to be functional. His two 15 acres paddocks, however, are fully workable and horse-livable immediately. He offered me use of one of them instead of fixing up my paddock, which he also said he would do if I want. The 15 acre field is behind my 5 acres, so it's not exactly in my backyard, but it's literally a 3 minute walk to get down there to the field. There is a big shed, lots of really nice grass, and NO STICKERS! My pasture is totally overrun with them and you cannot kill them. I mean really. You can't freaking kill the horrible m-fing m-fers.

Pros of keeping Gogo in my 5 acres:
Right behind my house
Easy access
24/7 healthy happy turnout!

Cons of keeping Gogo in my 5 acres:
Mucho rebuilding of fence, and much rebuilding of the labyrinth in order to make safe shelter
Smaller than 15 acres
Grass is good but not quite as good at the 15 acres

Pros of keeping Gogo in my landlord's 15 acres:
It's 15 acres!
Great grass
Nice shelter
Immediately available
Good safe horse fencing and footing
Possibility of turnout with his gelding, in which case it would be 30 acres
No stickers!! Or well, minimal stickers

Cons of keeping Gogo in my landlord's 15 acres:
Not as easy to access
Harder to keep an eye on her - not right behind my house so I can't watch her all the time

Clearly it sounds like an easy choice. I would prefer for sure that she stay in my backyard, and she might get to at some point, but it's just a better option to keep her in the other field.

That's Bubba, the potential buddy. I'd love her to have a friend if she would get along with him! The only things that really need to be don ein the 15 acres are to remove the costal roundbales from the shed (from what I understand, costal can be pretty poopy hay, and northern horses apparently don't do well on it? I don't honestly know for a fact), and fix a bit of the fence between the two pastures where it is sagging. It will not even take an hour so long as there is some machinery involved. There is also a big huge hole that I found, just one - that needs to be filled. Other than that, it's totally ready to go.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wait a minute, when did 2011 happen?

Tada! It's the New Year! I can honestly say that I have absolutely never in my life cared less. I made only one single goal: to not rely on my goalmaking success for happiness. I have spent the past three years of my life meticulously planning out my year from January 1st on through show season, painstakingly setting up monthly and yearly goals, and planning to a T every clinic and show I planned on attending right down to every finance. It's pretty obvious that I can't do that this year. Every other New Years resolution I ever made complimented my competition schedule - exercising, dieting, etc. I made other small goals for myself too, of course, but nothing I didn't ever really regret not completing if I didn't.

This year, everything is different. I woke up on January 1st and felt exactly the same as the day before. I did not have any goals I was excited to get started on. I did not have anything in my forseeable future to plan for. We spent the night before down at the river, throwing away pieces of 2010 into the water as a symbolic letgo. I tossed in an old vet bill (paid of course!) to sybolize letting all of that endless heartache go. It was an incredible night, and a cleansing moment. Of course we were then nearly skewered by a wild boar who showed up on the riverbank. Or at least that's what we think it was... we heard crashing and squealing and decided we better not stick around long enough to find out.

As far as New Years Eves go, this one was amazing. I wish it had never ended, but of course it had to. I headed off to work the next day same as always, working a day that was just the same as before except quite a lot colder. I didn't make any goals. I didn't make any particular plans. I have ideas, but nothing concrete to name. It is oddly liberating, to tell you the truth. Something will come to me, I am sure. But as for right now, I am happy to just move with the wind until something comes clear.

I didn't make any goals for Gogo either. In fact, I think I am going to try and make a point of not making goals for now. She is happy being a chinchilla rolling in the dust every day, and her leg looks the same. Since I am once again her primary feeder, I am annoyed to find that apparently over the past year she has relearned her total attitude at feeding time that I had all but squashed out of her when I was her primary feeder before. It's nothing bad at all, but she makes some pretty surly faces that she never used to make before, and paws. I don't tolerate any sort of attitude from her, even if it's just an ugly face, so I have been creatively chasing her off with the mixing spoon we use to stir water into grain meals. I also refuse to approach her when she's making an ugly face. Only when she pricks her ears and looks at me in a friendly way do I bring her grain over. The spoon technique seems to be the most effective. The pawing has all but stopped after a few days of this, and the nasty faces are way less nasty and more quizzical. Hopefully we'll be back to normal pretty soon.

I also put her on the lunge yesterday for all of 25 seconds, just a few trot steps in each direction. She's still lame, but a fair bit less than she was when the injury first happened. We're only a month and a half our from the reinjury, which is nothing in the grand sceme of things. If we were still doing stall rest we wouldn't have even gone back yet for our first vet recheck. I think I will probably do this once a monthjust to see what she looks like, because it really can't hurt much at this point. Baby steps.

Really, there isn't much else to report. She's getting a thorough grooming, but not every day. She likes to be dirty and a horse for once, I think. She is happy to be out all day, and she completely trashes her stall every night. I for one really hope to get her out 24/7 in my backyard ASAP, seeing as that will be an additional perk.... not having to be on the receiving end of that pitchfork every day!

Big news-related things may or may not be coming soon. Pertaining to Gogo's living situation, I now have the option of keeping her in my landlord's 15-acre paddock, whcih also joins to a second 15 acres if I am interested. It's not quite my backyard, but it's close, so I will have to think about it and will have more on it later. I also may have something to ride! I don't know anything about the potential horse yet aside from his name, which is Trout. I dunno about you but I LOVE a weird name! More details as they come.

As for right now...

I am not making goals anymore for this year for Gogo. This may change at some point, but I have absolutely no expectations and I am not going to set myself up for failure and dissapointment.
I am not making resolutions for myself yet. I will when I decide the time is right.
I am letting things come as they will, and letting my interests point me in the right directions so that I can take the next step from here.
I am happy as a clam in this town and state. Really.

2010 feels a bit like it was a complete and utter waste, but I have a feeling that 2011 will be a total turnaround. I'm not sure why I get that feeling, but somewhere in my gut I know it's true. Something good is coming. Something really good.

Happy New Year!