Custom blog header by Bre!

In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lunatic Fringe

Working at an equine rehab facility, I see lots of serious cases of lameness coming and going every day. Some of these are far worse off than Gogo, and some of them get better with the therapies that we do. There has been some talk about seeing what we can do for Gogo in terms of therapies and whatnot. Whenever we talk about it, I think, "yes! Wouldn't it be amazing if this or that helped her and we could make an amazing against-all-odds comeback!" I get thinking more and more about hope, and less and less about the fact that the vet deemed her to be permanently unrideable and that we are still considering euthanasia as a possibility. In other words, I may be living on the lunatic fringe, and I'm not sure if it should be considered healthy and positive, or dangerously emotional.

Truthfully, it is hard to justify trying to do more financially for this mare. I've dumped god knows how much money into this rehab, and not a cent of it has paid out. Why should anything be different now?

I have no plans to spend tons of money at this point on trying anything. It would just be silly to do so, especially when I have plenty of other expenses to worry about and I'm more broke now than I ever have been. I had been so ready and resigned to letting her go.... now I'm considering giving it one last try. Maybe I'm nuts.... but I have nothing more to lose except for her.

The AECs are currently underway in Chattahoochee Hills, GA, and I am just as unhappy about not being there this year as I was last year. I have a number of friends riding and am cheering them on from the sidelines, much like I did last year. I was all bummed out thinking about it last night when I made the mistake of going and looking at the coursewalks and photo/video coverage online, but thankfully I had Future Hubs there to snap me out of it. He's such a good down to earth kind of guy... I don't know where my head would be without him. I can't believe that in two days it will be two years since Gogo's original injury.... I can't even get my head around that. I've been a little all over the place as of late, but things in general are turning around for me. I'm back to working steadily for the first time in two months, I will be making relatively fair money between the rehab center and my growing little string of clients, and in general I'm getting along better than I have for quite some time now. It's just a matter of getting back on my feet again, as usual. As for the moment, I am still flat on my face, but at least I feel like I might be able to stand up soon.

Greenwood Horse Trials are at the end of this month. I haven't been to a horse trial as a spectator in over a year now. I think I'll go. Yes... that will be good for me, I think.

This face isn't ready to give up yet...

I don't think I am either.


Alighieri said...

Yes! Come watch GW! It is one of Area V's nicest horse trials, and is good for spectating dressage and SJ. XC is a bit in the woods, but you can still see a good bit.

East Bound said...

I think it's worth a try. if it doesn't "fix" her maybe it'll make her comfortable longer...

achieve1dream said...

No that face is definitely NOT ready to give up! If they will let you try the therapies for free or at cost I would definitely go for it. I can understand not wanting to dump a ton of money into an injury that has been deemed permanent so don't feel bad about that. :) I'll keep my fingers crossed it works out.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Of course you are crazy :) We all are..Crazy about our ponies and if you want to try something, DO IT. If it fails, it fails. If it works-amazing. If you dont think she wants to try in the end, then you know. Roller coaster Rehab ride. Go for that UP! :)

Melissa said...

Aw, cute photo! Glad to hear you've found steady work.

The good news here is that there's no rush to make a decision. Gogo is getting along in good spirits, and waiting a few weeks or months isn't likely to have a negative impact on any therapies that you decide to try. It's okay to just take things as they come right now.

Val said...

That's want I like to hear!

Dressager said...

What horse person isn't crazy? The Aquatread, if within reason and price, might be really good for her to take off some weight and exercise her legs without straining the injury. But I'm no vet, just another crazy horse person :/

Don't give up on that girlie yet!

I videod a friend schooling the intermediate course, and good Lord it looks like fun. It might be a nice break.

Lisa said...

If money wasnt a factor, what treatments and therapies would you be trying at your new work for Gogo? Surely because you work there they would be willing to do some sort of payment plan and/or discounts.

Marion Princic said...

i´m glad to hear you give it another try. crazy? yeah, but what the heck, your mare, your life, your decission. gogo deserves it and so do you. money? money comes and goes and you always can make more money.

Meghan said...

I have poured quite a bit of money into my little arthritic mare over the two + years I've owned her. She was originally $750, and I honestly don't want to know the total cost, but we have a connection and that is the important thing. She also struggles with a painful, potentially debilitating condition (I do know that a tendon injury is far more serious than advanced arthritis, but I can only share my experience. I hope you aren't offended by the comparisons).

When Sofie was diagnosed and x-rayed, it was the opinion of my vet that she would only be okay for walk rides. However, apart from the occasional monthlong flare-up that restricts her to groundwork, we regularly trail ride (including hills and terrain, though not to excess) and practice our dressage. Training progress is slow, and we are not perfect or entirely correct by anyone's imagination, but I have learned so much from her. She is a friend, and I honestly enjoy riding her more than any other horse.

Horses are incredibly good at compensating. Sofie has been far lamer than Gogo at times, and when she is having a bad day she will simply lie out in the field and rest her legs. That doesn't mean I don't worry about her, and that doesn't mean I don't feel like shit when she is lame or stiff or unable to do much. I have considered euthanasia during a prolonged flare-up when she was uncomfortable even just walking around, and if her arthritis progresses it will likely happen in the future. If her quality of life goes downhill, she will not have to go on.

Sometimes I wish there was something more I could do for her. Hock injections did nothing for her, and I'm glad I tried it once so I don't have to wonder and feel bad for not having the money. She is on a heavy-duty joint supplement, I ride as much as I can and attempt to keep her in shape, and she is now on 24/7 turnout. And that is about all I can do. I don't know if anything drastic could really make a difference, short of joint replacement surgery, which I don't think has even been attempted in horses.

Finally I just want to say that I understand the horrible feeling of self doubt (or self hatred) when your horse is in pain or not doing well. I don't think any of us ever want to negatively affect our horses, but sometimes it happens that way. We are not perfect. And sometimes things that happen are out of our control. I had no control over how Sofie was ridden and used before I got her, just as you did not intend for the crazy trainer to longe your horse in such a way that quite possibly (in my mind) contributed to her having a weakness in her body that eventually gave out. If I'd had Sofie from the beginning, with full control over her training and use, I think I would have a very different (and sound) horse. This is not to say that I am an amazing trainer. I am flawed, and I need to be better. But I care, and I think most of the time my care and training are beneficial rather than harmful. I admire your skill and commitment to your horse. I hope for the best for you and Gogo, and I hope you can reach some degree of peace and go on, because we all want you to succeed.

Mrs. Exeter said...

Like Dressager says above, all horse people are crazy! If she's not in agony of course you are right to try - how wonderful if she could be comfortable enough to be a paddock pet, as I think you called it. Best wishes and everything crossed for you both for whatever you try to help her. xxx

Wiola said...

The optimistic part of me is glad to read you are keeping on trying to "fix" Gogo.
My friend and I have a horse. Eight different vets have not come to the conclusion as to what's wrong with him. He's been lame for 2 years. We had him barefoot rehabbed at Rockley Farm (as one of the issues "discovered" was navicular disease) and he has improved immensely. However, he is still not fully right.
We've been told by two vets nothing can be done and best thing would be to euthanize.

However, we keep on trying to learn how to help him.
He loves life, he loves food and loves people, interaction and he plays with other horses. Perhaps one day we will discover the way to help him.
I totally believe in science but I also think we need to doubt many so called facts because 5 years down the line, someone might make a discovery that will change today's science.

"What is now proved was once impossible" [W.Blake]