Dawn came up on day 15 of rain and overcast skies. After an early breakfast feeding, Lauren and I huddled in the house until 9 am or so when the temperatures edged past 45 degrees. The horses (all of them, not just Bruno) had been in their stalls for over 36 hours as we waited for the rain to end.
We hauled three wheelbarrows of dirty shavings and manure out of the stalls. Then we started to dress and re-wrap Bruno’s hoof. We ran out his dressing, (we can get more at the vet tomorrow), had to sweep a clean spot to dress his hoof, had to bring him some alfalfa to distract him while we worked, had to get fresh water and clean his buckets, the point is we were in and out of his stall million times. We finally got his hoof re-done and headed to the house-chores complete!
I sat down at the computer to start my blog about watching the Texans game with my mom yesterday. She had so much fun. I glanced out the window as the site was coming up and saw a large black horse rolling in the mud. It took a second, I looked to see where Kid was (he was the only horse out) and he was standing watching Bruno roll. I looked at Lauren and screamed “Oh my God, Bruno is out loose in the mud!”
Bruno has not been out of his stall since he left for TAMU 20 days ago. He is not under any circumstances to get his hoof wet. It has rained for most of the last two weeks. There is standing water and mud everywhere. Lauren and I scrambled out of the house at a run, crashing through the dog gate, sliding into our boots, grabbing our coats and heading toward the barn. Screaming instructions at one another, “Get the first halter!”, “Grab some alfalfa!” After completing his glorious roll in the mud, Bruno had moved onto pounding the ground behind the barn, running and bucking, happy to be free. (I would like to point out that his new hoof was holding up pretty well and he was not showing big signs of lameness.) The other horses in the barn were reacting to his rampage by racing in their stalls. Lauren got past the fence to his stall area first. I arrived at the gate just as Bruno came blazing in, sliding to a stop in the deep mud in front of the gate.
Lauren tried to get Mimi’s little halter around the broad neck of the giant Bruno, all the time yelling at me, “it’s too small, it’s too small!” Of course, this all had to be my fault, I had to have been the one that did not fasten his gate correctly (and it probably was). I grabbed the wrong halter as well.
Bruno was wound up, thrilled with his escape, romp through the mud and decidedly uncaring about his bandaged foot being wet and muddy. He was trembling with excitement and blowing hard from his nose. Kid had chosen this moment to mosey on into Bruno’s stall and was content to just stand by Bruno’s feed bowl. I hurried to get Kid out to make way for Bruno to come back in.
Lauren continued to yell at me. Finally, securing the little halter around the narrowest part of Bruno’s neck, Lauren was trying to impress the big gelding that it was time to get back in his stall. It was like the Keystone Cops try to wrangle a horse. We really need a barn cam ready to record our idiotic exploits as they occur. Hundred and something pound Lauren convinced thirteen hundred and something pound Bruno to go into the stall. Then we started to assess the damage.
Thankfully we had just re-bandaged the hoof and we had been out of our normal elastikon bandage. We had substituted a heavier weight, waterproof tape and covered Bruno’s hoof in it. When we got the muddy bandage off, water had not seeped through to the hoof. We re-bandaged it, took off Bruno’s blanket that was now covered in mud, brushed him down and re-blanketed him with an old stable blanket that barely fit him. Lauren gave him some anti-inflammatory meds for when his little romp starts to feel like a bad idea.
We double checked the gate chain before we left this time. We counted our blessings that I had seen him when I did before he had time to really soak the hoof.
And on my original idea for today’s blog, Lauren and I went to Nanny’s with wine in sippy cups, various appetizers and watched the first half of the Texans play-off game. Mom said it was the best day she had in a long time. I don’t know if it was our company or the wine, but it almost seemed like old times, cheering on the winning team. For a little while we could forget that anything was unusual about drinking “forbidden” wine from children’s sippy cups in a nursing home in Texas.