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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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

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

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.

16 comments:

manymisadventures said...

Oh Gogomare...I swear she tries to give you ulcers.

Maybe once she adjusts to the constant turnout she will stop injuring herself. I've heard from people with TBs that they tend to bang themselves up a LOT the first year, and then it gets better.

Melissa said...

Oh, Gogo. She does have a brain, somewhere behind the mare-drama. Hopefully she'll start using it soon. In the meantime, I'm glad it was all superficial!

Jenny said...

She'll stop getting into accidents like this once she settles in. And there's always the possibility that she's just really bored...
I know it probably sounds lethal... but you should try giving her companion. Or two! Something that can hold its own but is fairly harmless at the same time. It's easier said than done... but try to stop worrying about her and just let her be a horse. She'll figure it out on her own.
The cut on the top of her rump might be from her neighbor reaching over the fence... ?

sally said...

Oh how depressing for you to see Gogo in such a state. I'm sure she was sent to try you.

Muriel said...

Sending lots of healing vibes to Gogo mare. I am sure she will settle down in her new condition.

My city-erfect-sand-arena mare lived for 6 weeks in a field in mountain. Well at first she protested that it was downhill. Then every single day, she came back with cut. Imposssible to find how. In the weirdest places, under her armpit (sorry forgot the technical equestrian term).
She got better, and was then galloping downhill amongst rock, trees, bushes and even jumping!

Big hug, wishing for Gogo to recover well and fast!

Val said...

That problem hurt like hell. My horse jumped his turnout fence during the first few months that I owned him. He scraped up both hind legs really badly and was lucky that he didnt' break his neck. He never attempted this again, and hopefully Gogo has also learned her lesson. I like the turnout-buddy suggestion.

SmartAlex said...

Nothing like a high maintenance pasture puff. Groan....

Nicku said...

First off...impressive bandaging! Second...Maybe this is just too much freedom for her? Maybe she is more comfortable in a smaller, more controlled space where she can keep tabs on the boundaries of her territory and knows you're nearby. I cant help but wonder since you used to be around her 24/7 and now it sounds like (maybe I am not reading it right) that you have a normal job sitch where you're away all day...all that could be causing her to panic and act out in worry or out of stress, there's been a lot of change for little muffin :) I know you'll figure it all out! You're the best horse mom I know, hands down! I hope her leg feels better!!!!

Ambivalent Academic said...

Ugh. That sucks. I'm sure she'll heal fine. If 'playing' over the fence is an issue, I would suggest running a strand of electric tape along the top. Depending on the perimeter, you could probably do this in a weekend for less than $100. A couple zaps and she won't think of fighting over the fence again. I like the diamond mesh too but it doesn't mean that every horse will respect it. I hope her leg heals soon. :(

Natalie Keller Reinert said...

I feel like Gogo and my old mare Wicket are somehow related.

Dark bay mares with a serious sense of self and an uncanny way of damaging themselves in new and hitherto unimagined ways...

Yeah. Cousins at least.

Checkmark115 said...

wicked nice hock bandage though. Mine always slip...

Dom said...

Silly mare, STOP IT. For what it's worth, I've always hated that kind of fencing.

McFawn said...

Just part of having a horse on turnout. Don't sweat it. The best medicine for her right now is just being a horse in a field. Don't be deterred from the good thing you're doing because of a few minor scrapes.


All horses are happier when they are given a more natural lifestyle...she will be too after she completes the adjustment phase.

Lisa said...

I'm glad it's not just my horses that do these things to themselves. It seems almost never-ending! Poor Gogo. Poor Andrea!

Deered said...

To me it looks/sounds like se doesn't respect the fencing - and now that she has taken it down, she may think she can do it again. Is it possible for you to put a mains powered hotwire outrigger up so that intitally she can't touch that part of then fence - then just hot the immedate are until she realises that you don't put fences down, just becasue you feel like seeing if you can.

Some horses (from what I have seen) just want to see if they can get away with it - I've had a 16hh stationbred standing on her back legs, pushing at the top rail of the cattle yards seeing if she could push them over.... because she didn't have enough space to be able to jump the 6'6 yards! basically we had to make all her fences 6foot high, with a hot outrigger 1m out, then we lowered the top, temporary wire then removed the out rigger - after a few hits from the electric fence she learnt!

Good luck - pushy horses are hard work, but so much fun.

kippen64 said...

Just writing to suggest a blog post subject. When most eventing horses are doing the cross country, they wear studs in their shoes to prevent slipping. I am curious to know your thoughts on this subject and how you deal with slipping and the prevention of it. Have just watched Sharon Hunt describing on Horse & Country TV the equipment that she uses for herself and her horse for cross country. The size of the studs she suggested for wet conditions appalled me. I certainly wouldn't want a horse to step on me while wearing those. Ouch!!!! I am very much looking forward to reading your ideas and views on this subject. Cheers.