Three weeks have gone by since Gogo passed away. I've kept very busy at work, spending my days working horses out in the AquaTread and applying therapies as per my usual. It's all very healing to be able to help other hurt horses, even though it makes me horribly depressed that I couldn't help or save my own. I focused a lot on rehab work when I was in college, and actually designed a facility for a senior project during college that was quite a lot like the one I work at now. I really, really enjoy my job, and I love my growing group of clients that I trim for as well. I'm not advertising yet - I so don't feel ready for that! - but I imagine I will start to actively market myself sometime in the not-too-distant future. Should our claim for mortality come through from Gogo's insurance, I am going to take a different direction with it instead of what I had originally planned to do with it (put it back into another relatively expensive horse). Instead, I plan to take a chunk of the money and use it to solidly establish my business. The rest of it will go into savings, and also into another horse... but I will not be buying another mega expensive warmblood for the time being. Maybe someday I will be rich and famous and be able to throw money around like it is nothing (unlikely!), but for now my priorities are different than they were five years ago when I bought Gogo. I have her to thank for this entire journey, and I will be forever grateful for it.
I received a write up from the vet's office today for my second to last vet bill I'll ever have from Gogo, this one from 10/4 when I took her in for her final evaluation. The write up was incredibly depressing, but assuredly puts to rest any doubts I have had since the time of her euthanasia (with commentary in parenthesis by me):
"Today Gogo is borderline 4/5 lame on RH, has been progressively worse since last exam of RH distal sesamoidean ligaments injury. Lame at walk with 2+ increased settle of RH fetlock especially at right turns - still enlarged grossly and markedly painful to palpation. LH has 3+ effusion in digital sheath and moderate enlargement @ the DSL (distal sesamoidean ligaments)/P1 as RH. Trotting straight increased 2+ RH fetlock flexion response increased 3+, took ~4 strides to get her foot back down. (She hopped away after flexion.) Hock/stifle and suspensory ligament has no pain or flexion response.
Feet are well trimmed and short toes. (Go me! He doesn't know I'm her hoofcare provider so this was great to see that he made a point of mentioning it!)
DXR (digital xray) of RH to evaluate sesamoid position and potential joint subluxation.
Sesamoids are notably distal in position more so than normal and pastern joint is WNL (within normal limits) at this time. (Three days later, it was NOT within normal limits.)
Based on the progressive nature of the RH injury and body mass that accelerates the issue, there is a 0% chance of performance and a guarded prognosis for anything else based on the likelihood of a breakdown injury."
Which possibly was the most depressing write up I've ever seen. I had a great day at work today, but after reading that I just wanted to lay down and forget about everything for a little while. It of course assures me that I did the right thing, but man... it just hurts to read about it.
Her death has profoundly affected me in a lot of ways. I'm really doing well in a lot of aspects of my life - I'm living relatively comfortably, I'm gathering clients and building a nice base in my own business, I'm working a rehab job that I really enjoy, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous, I'm with the Future Hubs of my dreams, I get to see my family AND Nicole who I have not seen in three years come December - but I'm really hurting when it comes to the whole process of finding another horse. I've completely stopped looking at ads of nice youngsters for sale because everytime that I do, I just see a future of debilitating lameness and death. I know it's a bit irrational and extreme, but I am having a hard time not looking at it that way. I just couldn't keep either of my last two horses sound, and I lost both of them because of it. If I couldn't do it for Metro, and I couldn't do it for Gogo (who was my absolute best possible chance to redeem myself after Metro), then how could I do it for another horse? It feels like a lot of my hopes and dreams of competing have died out with her as well. I don't think they are dead and gone forever, but I think they will take some coaxing to come back out again. It isn't that competing isn't a priority anymore, it's just that I have zero desire to break a horse down again. I need to do something for awhile that is lower key in order to prove to myself that I can actually do right by a horse for once and not cripple and kill it. Then, and only then, will I be able to get back to the level that I wanted. Then I will be able to find my fighting spirit again. But it will take a long time.
Which is why I am so interested in Metro's daughter Sophie. Aside from wanting to own her for the past seven years, she might be exactly what I need in order to heal, do right by my karma, and come around again. According to her owner, she is still fine to jump around at 3', but at 4' she comes up a little short behind due to her old stifle injury. The best vets in Calgary worked her up when it happened six years ago, and the best they could come up with was that it was some sort of acute trama. Nothing showed up on any of the images they took with various instruments. I wasn't even banking on her being able to do anything beyond a little dressage and some trail (if even that!), so it's all gravy on top. If she can do some tiny lower level eventing, that's great! If not, that's fine too. As long as she is sound enough to carry my butt around and help me feel like I have a chance at finally righting my horrible horsey karma and turning my eternally awful bad luck around, that's about all I could ask for. This mare deserves all the love, attention, and affection I can shower her with. She's been bounced around and around, and she deserves a well-earned permanent home until the end of her days. I hope I am the one to be able to give that to her. I have absolutely no free time until January (unless something magically opens up), so I don't know what is going to happen in terms of being able to get up there and try her out. And who knows? Maybe I will hate her, or maybe she'll be a total cripple and I won't take her. We'll just have to see.
The Eventing-A-Gogo blog has 404 followers as of today. That is absolutely amazing, and thank you all for taking the time to read about my precious little mare. Through everyone who knew her or read about her, her memory will live on, and for that I am so grateful. Thanks to every last one of you.
Here's Sophie! I am not a fan of that name but I think that I have known her for seven years as Sophie, so it might be completely impossible to chance should she ever come home with me:
She's by no means picture perfect, but she is definitely an improvement on Metro's conformation, that's for sure!
Zac's 3 week update
18 hours ago