Today, day 119 since Bruno had hoof surgery, we headed back to Texas A&M Large Animal Vet Hospital for his six-week check-up. Surgery had been done in December to cure an infection in his coffin bone and surrounding hoof area.
It has been a long and difficult time for all of us, especially Lauren who was in charge of cleaning and bandaging the hoof. Bruno has staged numerous revolts to get out of his prison stall-no matter how nice we have tried to make it for him.
We had observed that Bruno’s hoof was growing quickly and well. I said in the beginning-I can grow hoof. I use a supplement that really produces hoof growth and nice coats. Here is a picture of Bruno’s hoof immediately after surgery-it has gauze in the ‘defect’. It is probably two inches or so high.
Today’s hoof with all the new growth (it has adhesive stuck on the hoof from months of bandaging).
We have grown a new, disease free hoof! The vet tech asked if we were hand walking Bruno. The reality of it is that I am hurt and Bruno is a little frightening to Lauren. No, we have not been hand-walking him. He has not been loose at all except by accident.
Dr. Marsh, who once said it would be November at least before we got back on this horse, decided that Lauren should be able to get back on board the big guy in six weeks!! We may have him in the show ring by fall. Oh, my goodness, I am just so grateful.
In the interest of Lauren living through her first rides on the giant horse (although we plan to bubble-wrap her for sure) Dr. Marsh decided it was time for Bruno to go out of his stall. I cried. He will be so much easier to handle if he has some time to be a horse running, playing and getting strong again. We will start out in the paddock in front of his stall so he doesn’t have too much room to run. Then work up to the grassy paddock behind the barn.
Immediately after his trailer ride home, while he was hand grazing with Lauren on spring grass, Lauren quietly unsnapped his leadrope. We had put the other horses in their stalls so Bruno wouldn’t want to join anyone in the pasture for a romp. And for the first time on purpose (he escaped from us a couple of times) Bruno was free to roll in the cool sand, kick up his feet and race around the small enclosure.
It was quickly obvious that the roof is too low for Big Bruno but he will adjust. He was bucking and his tail was hitting the roof. I know, I know- it would be safer to have him out without the roof overhead but we have to start in this small space. I think today will be the worst of his craziness, each time he gets to go out, he will be calmer and easier.
He would roll in the sand, jump up, dash around with some healthy bucks and stop pleased with himself. I was ever so pleased with him, too. I didn’t catch the first 49 times he rolled but got this little romp on video.
And yes, I hope he stays safe running and bucking like a manic as well but I am happy he is free once more and thrilled we cut seven months offs the projections for getting him back whole.
Stay tuned, I am hopeful this story is not ending but just beginning a new, wonderful chapter.