Today is the three-year anniversary of the Eventing-A-Gogo blog!
As always, I am completely amazing to find that another year has already come and gone. We all know the story of the origins of the blog by now: it all started three years ago as nothing more than a little something to keep track of my training successes (and failures) with my wild little mare, and it turned into so much more. I've made countless contacts and friends through my writing, and the unwavering support you all have shown me in my time of sorrow has been so helpful and so meaningful to me. Thanks to everyone who has followed this journey... this chapter in my life is closing, but there will be many different adventures in the future, and those of us who took part in Gogo's life will never be able to forget her. Without further ado, here is a review of the past year, from where we left off last November until now:
Gogo has finished her tendon rehab completely and is back in full work. She also gets to go on hacks to the beach regularly! I announce that I am leaving my current job, and find another to take its place, this time in Southern Pines, NC. I am looking violently forward to getting Gogo back into some real event-type training when a mystery misstep suddenly leaves Gogo very lame again. Ultrasound confirms a reinjury of the area, and we decide that it's time to stop what we're doing and give her a few years out in a field. The news is devastating, but not the end of the world. She might come back, but she might not... only time will tell.
My job offer in Southern Pines falls through, and instead I take a job outside of Fort Worth, Texas. (Still not sure what I was thinking at the time, but so glad I did it anyway!) Between November and December I manage the incredibly complicated feat of moving the menagerie all the way down to the deep south. We spend our last few weeks in Connecticut taking snowy walks and trimming feets. Gogo goes into 10-hour turnout as per our rehab schedule, and she managed to not freak out or kill herself... well, at least not too badly. I discuss breeding or buying my next horse, and start much heated debate. And of course, we move!
Daily life for Gogo is pretty boring for the first half of the month.... out all day, in all night, rinse lather repeat the next day. She gives a message to all of her followers on how to get your human to spend more time with you, spends far too much time on her hind legs trying to kill her neighbors, and then finally moves to the 15 acres behind my house for 24/7 turnout. She doesn't approve at first, and tries to kill herself on the fence, which doesn't surprise anyone. I talk more about Metro, and end up with a new Dobe/Rott pup and not one but TWO new cats!
Texas has a deathsnow deathstorm, and I am without water and heat for an entire week. I try to bring home a free lease project, and it goes pretty horribly wrong, so he goes back home within short order. We lose a good horse to a freak accident. Gogo finally stops trying to kill herself and settles into her new daily routine just fine. Aside from that, I don't write much.
The weather begins to break in March, and I lament not being able to keep a pasture horse clean... coming from show barns, this is a very different lifestyle for both of us! Gogo starts to gain weight as the grass comes in, and meets her ultimate nemesis, the grazing muzzle. We change some maintenance issues, and cut grain from her diet completely. I reminisce on the good old show days of 2009. The blog has 300 official followers... I can't hardly believe it.
In the beginning of the month, I announce that I am finally, FINALLY pursing a career in natural hoofcare! I roach Gogo's mane and am delighted with how it turns out. Denali's Mom's gift finally gets finished, Gogo's soundness and strength out in the field continues to improve, and I almost die in a tornado. As the grass comes in, Gogo's weight gain gets out of hand, and her feet go through some unpleasant changes. I start to realize just how much diet has to do with hoofcare (everything).
I write about missing Quincy as I always do in May. Gogo has a minor brainfart meltdown about her shed and refuses to use it in a hailstorm. She then of course sets out to prove me wrong when I make the generalized statement that she'll never use it under any circumstances. Her lameness improves! She is still not sound, but she is getting better and better as the weeks and months go by. Her feet improve. She permanently destroys her grazing muzzle. And I sit on her bareback once or twice! Temperatures reach 100 degrees, and don't cool off again for the next five months.
Gogo turns 10 years old on June 2nd! (And Tonka turns 1, and Snidgey turns 3!) We go in to see Dr. H for our six-month ultrasound, and it doesn't go particularly well. There are a lot of adhesions and lots of scar tissue within the tendon sheath... something turnout unfortunately did to her. Dr. H tells me to sit on her w/t/c and I do... she feels very good to start. But not long thereafter she blows a suspected adhesion and I despair. I talk about the unfortunate and harsh realities of turning a horse with a soft tissue injury out. I leave my job (with much relief, as it turned out to be quite a lot different than it was supposed to be). I'm not feeling particularly great at the halfway point of the year, and hope that it improves from here on out.
Gogo moves barns (and I move too), and finds herself in with a herd of her own to control and boss around. She has some sort of odd discharge from one of her teats that doesn't improve with anything we do, hardcore antibiotics included (she will have this strange discharge for the short rest of her life). She is ridiculously sound all things considered (not SOUND, but better than she has been since her last reinjury). We talk legs, and we talk feet. Gogo and I celebrate five very eventful and wonderful years together at the end of the month.
At the beginning of the month, I try to sit on Gogo again in order to hopefully eliminate some of her enormity (walk only). The first day of this, she turns up with fill in the leg and serious lameness. We talk about fatness, feet, and the problems of turning out a horse with a soft tissue injury again. I start talking about the prospect of eventually getting another horse, and about regretting my decision to turn her out. I also face the reality of what might happen if she doesn't get better. We get some bad news from the vet and have a brand new and very bad injury. I start to consider the possibility of not having my mare around for much longer.
In the beginning of September, I get my hopes up about giving everything one last ditch effort. The blog reaches 500 posts, and we pass the two year mark from the original injury at the AECs in 2009. I sit down and make a Go or No Go plan for potential rehab, and we have some gorgeous photos taken of us together. Gogo gets her tubba, homeopathy, and some AquaTread time and we think that this might possibly be our magic bullet for restoring her to some level of soundness. But her left leg ends up with compensatory damage, and she becomes bilaterally lame at the end of the month. I can be hopeful all I want in my head, but when I look at her, I know there is no real hope.
Gogo goes back to the vet for a final checkup with Dr. H, and the news is bad. Her entire suspensory apparatus is failing, and her distal sesamoidean ligaments are fraying with alarming rapidity. We discuss the final decision that we must make, and I decide to let her have a few final weeks of happy retirement before letting her go. Her legs have other ideas, and her right hind fetlock begins to sink shortly after our vet appointment. Her entire demeanor also deteriorates, and she tells me she is hurting and ready to go. I have one final bareback ride and one final wonderful afternoon with her, and then I let her go on October 11th. She went peacefully and with nobility, like a true lady should.
On November 11th, Gogo has been gone for an entire month. Gifts come flooding in from friends and readers, and are still coming in as we speak. There will not be another year of Eventing-A-Gogo after this, but it will remain as a tribute to her and to all the memories we shared together.
Happy Anniversary, Eventing-A-Gogo, even though it's a bittersweet one. The blog has 411 official followers as of today and I can't hardly believe it. I miss her so much, and sometimes still can't believe she's really gone. Thank you to everyone who has shared in this journey... you don't know what it means to me.
"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."