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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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Monday, March 7, 2011

Gogo's Kryptonite

First of all, I just want to say that the Eventing-A-Gogo blog just reached 300 followers! I cannot belive that 300 of you actually think my life is interesting enough to read about! Although we are talking about Gogo here... she makes EVERY day interesting! Thank you all for following along in this completely crazy journey!



Gogo is easily the smartest horse I've ever met. She problem solves and pieces information together in a way that I have never seen another horse do in my life. She is quick-thinking, intelligent, and has yet to prove to me that there is a problem on this planet earth that she can't think herself through. The scraps she has gotten herself into - and subsequently gotten herself out of with only minor scrapes - have astounded me. From getting three legs tangled in a panel of a roundpen and extricating herself carefully before anyone could help, to figuring out how to push backwards with all four legs on a stall wall when she is cast (which gives her room to right herself and stand), she always manages to use her ridiculous brainpower to overrule her senses and figure everything out with grace and ease.

Until now. Gogo has finally met her match in an innocuous piece of everyday tack, its heinous straps and basket surely molded by the Devil's hands himself in the fires of Hell. Like Superman when he meets kryptonite, Gogo's powers of intelligence and reason are completely sapped when she encounters this evil and torterous device. O lord of dieting and weight loss, how could you approve of such a cruel piece of equipment? No, it couldn't be, not.... THE GRAZING MUZZLE!



I introduced the muzzle to Gogo a few days ago after she had finished her breakfast and was just settling in for a nice morning graze. I slipped it over her head, made some small adjustments, and stepped back to admire the picture. Gogo just stood there, a look of utter confusion and bewilderment on her face. She was not concerned about this strange piece of equipment, she just... looked like every brain cell she owned had just leaked out of her ears and had left a vast and empty void in her head. There was no lightbulb. There wasn't even a candle. There was just a blank stare.

I offered her a bite of grass through the little opening in the muzzle. When it touched her nose, she jerked back, sneezing at the tickle. I tried again, but had the same response. Again, and again. She took a small nibble once or twice, but mostly she kept sneezing. And standing. And staring blankly into the distance.

I led her outside of the pasture to the greenest, most plush spot of grass I could find in the yard. She, true to form, put her head down, but when the grass tickled her through the hole in the muzzle she lifted her head again and just stood there. Just... stood. And sneezed. And stared blankly into the distance.

'Well, I guess she'll figure it out... she's super smart... right?' I said to myself as I put her back in her pasture. 'I'll come back at lunch and check on her.' I felt certain that when I returned on my lunchbreak, I'd find her grazing peacefully somewhere out in the pasture, working hard for those precious blades of grass that really aren't that difficult to put through a tiny hole in a muzzle. When I left, she was standing blankly at the gate, watching me leave as if to say, "Um.... what am I supposed to do now?"

When I returned six hours later, she was still standing in the EXACT same spot. She didn't even bother trying to go find out how to make the muzzle work, or at least try to figure out how to commit suicide by hanging herself on the fence by it, breakaway strap and all. She spent six muzzled hours just standing. And sneezing. And staring blankly into the distance. I took off the muzzle, and she shook her head and blinked at me, as if her brain was waking up after hibernation. She nonchalantly meandered away to graze, and I sighed and hung the muzzle up, determined not to give up just yet.

That evening, I brought her over to the pasture behind my house, which has gorgeous and thick green grass bursting up all over the place. Surely, I thought, this grass would be soft and tempting enough that she would figure the muzzle out, right? I was wrong. She kept sneezing and standing in one place, even with the deliciously tempting grassy treat at her feet, and finally just gave up and walked away. She walked and walked, and I came back to her side and followed. She kept just ONE step ahead of me, just so I couldn't catch her and kept walking. And walking. And walking. Finally, I just trotted forward and grabbed her, and tried to shove more grass into her muzzle. She just sneezed. And stood. And stared blankly into the distance.

That was the point that I gave up, put on a regular halter, and turned her loose in the pasture for a little bit of good grazing while I laid in my backyard and enjoyed the sunshine. She was so thoroughly delighted by this that she didn't leave the spot she was in for nearly an hour.



Gogo, meet ultimate nemisis. They shall do battle again shortly, but somehow I feel as though it has already permanently defeated her. Or maybe her enormous brain power will kick in, and she will find a way to destroy it for all time. Only time will tell.


Standing... and staring...

16 comments:

Barbara said...

That is funny. It must be the switch that turns the brain off. You can still use it a few hours a day to limit her intake, just make sure she is standing level and comfortable when you put it on.

frizzlesworld said...

I was laughing so hard tears started rolling down my face. OMG Gogo, she's such a trip. Who would have thought a GRAZING MUZZLE would stump her!?

Funder said...

Fair warning: one day I will steal "There was no lightbulb. There wasn't even a candle." Hysterical!

Abby said...

How does she drink through that?

It's only a matter of time before she figures out how to get the maximum amount of grass possible through that tiny hole :)

Nicole Redman said...

I say leave it on until she's hungry enough to figure it out. Do not look into her sad, reproachful eyes at any point during this process.

Melissa said...

Wow. Y'know, she might have it figured out after all. If she stands there and acts totally helpless, you'll eventually take pity and take it off of her. Not a fast tactic, but effective.

Maybe she needs to do some lunging or in-hand work with it on. Does she possibly think it's a ground tie?

Hurricanes12 said...

i think melissa is onto something, maybe she HAS got it sussed. if she stands for long enough, the evil muzzle is defeated!

Andrea said...

O man, I think you guys are right!

eventer79 said...

AHAHA, that is funny. At least she did not figure out the trick my friend's horse has -- if you put a grazing muzzle on him, within two minutes, he neatly lowers his head, lifts his hind foot and pushes it briskly over his ears. A shake of his head deposits it on the ground and he trots away to gorge himself. But then, Arabs ARE just monkeys with hooves.

Kate said...

Aww, Gogo! Haha, I have to agree with Melissa,she might have it figured out after all: Stand still and wait until my human takes pity on me!

jenj said...

Haha, that was hilarious! The blank look must surely be a game... as others have said, if she looks pitiful enough you'll take it off. ;)

On a more serious note, I used to have a metal grazing muzzle with bars that my horses figured out in no time. I checked Dover and they have a similar one that's marketed as a cribbing muzzle. Maybe something like that would slow her down but still allow her to eat and drink?

Dom said...

Ahahaha. Foiled! Poor girl. I do feel for her.

SmartAlex said...

The first time I put it on my horse, he had the most doleful look in his eyes... even before he realised exactly what it was for. He's pathetic. It's like you've removed his reason for living.

Gogo is such a Drama Queen. I don't know if she has the muzzle figured out, but she sure has you figured.

Heather (hpalmete) said...

Are you looking for ideas? A possible tactic to kick start her brain in the right direction - buy another grazing muzzle but cut the bottom out of it. Hopefully, with no bottom obstructing her she'll continue to graze, even though she's wearing the contraption. If she figures out she can graze while wearing it (even though it has no bottom) maybe she will take that bit of knowledge and apply it when you put the real deal back on. Are grazing muzzles expensive? Maybe cutting one up isn't a fiscally responsible idea. Anyway, more of a dog training concept I guess but worth a try maybe. Good Luck!

Val said...

I think her brain is working just fine. Clever girl.

Yvonne said...

Oh my gosh .. this blog reminds me of how much I desperately miss riding (it has been a grand total offff ... 5 months!). Your mare is just as sweet as pie!

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