Teach your Children Well

Jordyn and her special journey with OTTB Bruno.

Jordyn preparing to get on big Bruno for the first time.

Jordyn preparing to get on big Bruno for the first time.

Off they go!

Off they go!

Bruno with Jordyn and her great grandpa-Jim.

Bruno with Jordyn and her great grandpa-Jim.

Giant Bruno being confidently handled by five year-old Jordyn

Giant Bruno being confidently handled by five year-old Jordyn

Nearing the end of his days

Nearing the end of his days

Days before he died with  Jordyn and Kendyll

Days before he died with Jordyn and Kendyll

Jordyn and the big thoroughbred Bruno had a special relationship almost from the day he arrived at our barn.  Although over 17 hands high and a huge 1450 pounds, he was a gentle soul and they seemed to just get along.

To say Jordyn loved Bruno is an understatement.  She also watched him suffer through surgery, helped Lauren re-bandage his hoof many times, saw him with blood streaming down his face and on the good days as well.  Jordyn was five years old when Bruno came to our barn.  She was old enough to understand pain and suffering and appreciate what we were trying to do for the horse, in trying to get him get back to sound and healthy.

As the time went on,  she saw Bruno start to soar, spending time with Lauren and him at the trainers as Bruno learned to jump and watching Amelia take the big guy further than we ever dreamed.  But his success was short-lived and his infection in his hoof returned.  Jordyn also watched him stand, unable to walk, as we continued to try to do something to save him.

Bruno had a few days when he rallied.  Jordyn was there to walk him in the green pasture and sit endlessly on his back as he ate the fresh grass.

Jordyn was not there when he died.  It would not have been right but she did see the freshly dug grave and laid flowers on it for him. She and I have spoken many times of life and death on farm but not really specifically about Bruno, not since he died, anyway.

I was surprised this weekend when she mentioned him and how much she missed him.  Jordyn is a sensitive, intelligent child that observes more than we think and absorbs more than her share of the hurt she sees in the world.  She told me the story of what her other grandma, Dodie, had shared with her this weekend as she was missing Bruno so much.

I was appreciative and impressed by what she had been told.  Dodie told her about Bruno in Heaven eating forever green grass and running without pain.  She told Jo how Bruno would never have to hurt again.  She made Heaven a real and wonderful place for our granddaughter.  And that is how it should be.  What a wonderful gift to share with this imaginative child, one of happiness and joy instead of memories of pain and sadness.

I am indebted to Dodie for this and Jordyn is blessed to have a grandmother so confident in her faith and belief that she can draw pictures for a child’s dreams of the broad, green pastures of Heaven.  I could only be thankful and think of the old Neil Young song of “Teach your Children Well“.  This child has been taught of suffering and death but also of tremendous happiness that awaits.  The best we can do and the best we can give is to teach our (grand) children well.  Thank you, Dodie. I am grateful.

Bruno is Gone

The majestic Fiddlers Pilgrim, aka Bruno.

The majestic Fiddlers Pilgrim, aka Bruno.

 

 

It has been almost two years since trainer Dev called me to ask if I would take a horse he had that had some hoof problems.  At the time, I told my vet, Lynn Criner, that I would give him two years.  I had forgotten that conversation until she reminded me yesterday.  It has been a long two years.

Just a short re-cap-

  • Bruno was an off the track thoroughbred bred from racing royalty A.P. Indy and Hansel.
    AP Indy, grand-sire of my Bruno

    AP Indy, grand-sire of my Bruno

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  • He was a staggering 17.2 hands high and weighed over 1650 pounds in the best days.

    Bruno

    Bruno

  • He was brave, stoic and strong.
  • Bruno has been treated for hoof infections for at least four years.  I suspect maybe longer.
  • He had surgery to treat a massive infection to his coffin bone in December 2012.

    Lauren loving on Bruno after surgery at Texas A&M.

    Lauren loving on Bruno after surgery at Texas A&M.

  • Bruno spent over five months on stall rest
  • He came back from the surgery alternately sound and lame for the last 18 months.
  • During that time Lauren got to spend two weeks with him in a focused jumping program-it was wonderful for both of them.

    Bruno at the trainer's in December.

    Bruno at the trainer’s in December.

  • Amelia turned him into a dressage horse and we watched him stretch and reach new limits under her tutelage.

    Look at the stretch in this canter!

    Look at the stretch in this canter!

  • Hoof problems plagued him regularly.

When Amelia left on vacation in July, the hoof infection was back with a vengeance.  We would clear the infection in one hoof (or so we thought) only to have it re-surface in another.  There was not a moment except last Tuesday where he was without severe pain.  I enlisted the help of my vet and farrier and we tried multiple types of antibiotics, pain killers, shoeing adjustments (really pads on his now bare feet).  I even ordered over $200 of corrective padded, glue on shoes for him just this last Friday.

Bru's feet wrapped up once again.

Bru’s feet wrapped up once again.

But no matter what we did, this beautiful horse was not pain-free.  If I could have asked him, as the orthopedic surgeon asks Lauren each time we visit what her pain level was I know it would have been over a 5, even on the best of days.  Last Tuesday, which was to be Bruno’s last good day, he went with me to have pictures taken in the bottom pasture.  He was not pain-free but he could get around.

Bruno as a background for Jordyn and Kendyll

Bruno as a background for Jordyn and Kendyll

By Wednesday morning, he was racked in pain again, lying in the far corner of his stall not able or willing to get up.  He would eat and drink if he had heavy doses of IV drugs on  board, otherwise he just laid silently in the shavings.  We had been treating his good foot but now the infection was running hot in his bad foot-the one he had surgery on.

Dr. Criner has been out for hours each day.  Taking x-rays, administering IVs with pain killers and antibiotics.  There is no solid, one, overwhelming reason why this young, gallant horse is so sick but we cannot get him better.

By Friday, Lauren and I both discussed it and knew we could not let this go on much longer.  His pain levels were tremendous.  We had identified at least eight separate sites of abscesses in his left hoof.  His right hoof was infected as well.  You could smell the thick stench of infection as you entered the barn hallway.  We told Dr. Criner, and she agreed, that we would not let this continue past Monday if we could not get a major turn-around or resolution.

Meantime, it was a lot like watching my mother slip away to death in hospice care.  We were losing Bruno day by day, hour by hour.

Together, Lauren, her friend Libby, my friend Gaylyn, Dr. Criner and myself stood by Bruno and held him as he was humanely euthanized today. It was time to release him from pain.

I don’t know why Bruno came into my life.  Maybe because I could do so little to help my mother and felt so helpless watching her slowly drift towards death over the years she was here, that Bruno came so I could prove to myself that I tried everything in my power (and my pocketbook) to make him whole again.  Sadly, that failed as well.  Grief enfolds me tonight.  Maybe I just needed to meet this proud, handsome, puppy-dog of giant and have a gauge by which to measure every future horse I meet.  I do not know.

The horror of Lauren’s recent injury, mother’s death and now laying this huge horse down to die make my heart brittle.  To love deeply is to hurt deeply.  It will be awhile before I stand straight and tall overcoming the weight of my injured heart.  Bruno, I loved you so…I am so sorry you are gone.

Bruno looking me in the eye.

Bruno looking me in the eye.

 

Pretty as a Picture

Bruno as a background for Jordyn and Kendyll

Bruno as a background for Jordyn and Kendyll

Our seven-year old, off-the-track thoroughbred Bruno, has always been one handsome horse.  However in the past 45 days, Bruno’s feet have been acting up again causing him to be seriously lame on one of his four feet consistently keeping him from leaving his stall until recently.

Bruno came to us lame and we did surgery at Texas A&M Vet hospital.  He has been sound and working pretty well in the last six months prior to this incident. Bruno managed to complete an intense but outstanding jumping clinic with a local trainer in late December of last year.  He has been ridden very well by our resident dressage and eventing expert, Amelia, since we moved to the new farm in April.  The two managed some lessons with both Dev and Nancy Lindsey for jumping and dressage.  He was going great.

Then Amelia went out-of-town on an extended trip and it all fell apart (yes, I blame Amelia!).  Actually, I think his boredom from not being worked lead to his racing around in the pasture which lead to him pulling his shoes off, over and over, and destroying what fragile bit of hoof wall he had. Not mention some nasty abscesses took up residence in his hooves as well.

The plan was to keep his shoes off, let his hooves grow and then start re-shaping them for more effective traveling in the future (so he would not be catching his back hooves on his front hooves).  Barefoot Bruno was not a happy guy unlike the doll Barefoot Barbie, Bruno did not have a smile on his face or fun times.  His feet just hurt.

Meanwhile, my ever practical daughter, Lauren (practical when it comes to things I care about, not so much about things she cares about) kept pointing out to anyone who would listen that we could not keep such a big horse, that we could not work, that would not eat, that we were amassing vet and farrier bills on, indefinitely.

I agreed but felt (most of the time) that there were better days ahead for Bruno.  I did have a period when I was painstakingly opening 30 individual antibiotic capsules to dump their contents into a bowl so I could give them to Bruno  each morning and night, mixed into vegetable oil and shot in his mouth with a syringe, while he played the “I am taller than you game” at my every approach to his stall, that I wanted to personally shoot him or me or someone.

Sean, our farrier even said that if he felt he couldn’t get Bruno better he would personnally drive the backhoe to dig the hole to bury him in, but we were not there yet.

At one point three of his legs were involved with infections or just swelling from so much inactivity.  Sean and Dr. Criner worked together to make pads to elevate Bruno’s front feet off the ground to give him some comfort from the pain. Sheets of thick rubber were cut to fit the bottom of his foot, then in essence ‘super-glued’ to his hoof with long pieces left to be glued to sides of the hoof.  Sean is an engineer in addition to being a former jockey and a farrier.  Dr. Criner has a creative streak as well.  I was afraid I would come home to find Bruno on roller skates or something!

Barefoot Bruno becomes super glue Bruno

Barefoot Bruno becomes super glue Bruno

Weeks have turned into months and finally, Bruno appears to be on the mend.  I have been dragging him out of his stall to get some sun and green grass.  Each day he has been better about going out and more reluctant to go back in.  One evening, I had already poured breakfast feed for Mickey and TeeDee that pasture outside all night.   Bruno roamed around the barn and ate both meals through the windows of their stalls.  Any other horse you would be worried about or mad, but Bruno can use any food he will eat.

Yesterday, we found the perfect profession for Bruno in his semi-lame state.  We made him the model in Jordyn and Kendyll’s professional pictures.  I got him all cleaned up, white socks white again, mane and tail washed and conditioned,  coat gleaming and pulled out his show halter (of course, he has never been to a show, but we can always hope).  When Elvia (Memories by Elvia) showed up, I hauled Bruno down to the back pasture behind the kids and figured with his less-than-mobile abilities he would be a perfect prop.

Then the camera flash started popping and off Bruno went, up the hill towards the barn.  I was being laughed at from the arena as I chased behind the hobbling horse.  I just want to point out that his legs are quite a bit longer than mine, so he is way faster, even at the walk.  I dragged him back to the “photo shoot” and got him re-positioned.  From that point forward, Bruno was like a high-paid model, he would have won “America’s Next Top Model” honors.  He posed.  He tilted his head.  He turned back to look at the girls.  He bowed his head to take candy from their hands.  Then he stood stock still in perfect thoroughbred form as both girls got on him with just the halter and lead rope.  This is a seven year-old racehorse, albeit a lame one, still he was amazingly patient.

I am sure I will be showing updated pictures for a while.  I am really excited about them.

Oh, Jordyn and Kendyll, they were pretty awesome as well. They are cute girls! I think my next step will be to get an agent for Bruno and he can start on his new modeling career right away!

And that's a wrap, folks.

And that’s a wrap, folks.

Summer’s Close

Jordyn headed off today, with much trepidation, to her new second grade class in the public school system.  She has attended a private school for two years and this may be quite a change.  Originally, she attended private school as her birthday on September 4th falls just after the deadline in Texas.  Her parents felt she was mature enough and physically ready for school two years ago, but she had to attend a private school to get around the birthdate issue.

Now, with a quivering lip, trying not to cry she headed into the classroom.  I hope she comes home with stories of her new friends and the wonders of her new school.

Riley started kindergarten in Denver and except for missing times with his momma, is really enjoying it.

It has been quite a summer here at the farm.  A year ago, I certainly had no inkling as to what would become of us by summer’s end.  We have the new place, new boarders and riders who come for lessons.  The farm resounds with laughter and horse sounds.  We have many new friends.  I even got a note in my mailbox from my dressage neighbor asking if some of her group could take lessons here.  I love meeting new people and especially meeting their horses.

This summer brought my mother’s passing.  I moved her to Texas two years ago this weekend.  It is well documented in this blog how hard the move was for all of us, yet, how right it was to bring her and I can only say how grateful I am to have had the time with her.

Lauren’s many horse related injuries were totally overshadowed by the horrific break of her arm over four weeks ago.  Today, in a surprise move, the orthopedic surgeon removed her cast, said her x-rays were GREAT and all the incisions looked top-notch.  He said although he had planned to cast it additional times, it was good enough to go it alone.  Lauren is mortified.  The cast was like her armour against pain and it is so scary to have something so painful exposed to the world.  But her movement of her fingers (or lack thereof) continues to be problematic so for her to get moving on occupational therapy, the cast had to go.  The nerves were sliced by the ulna bone as it ripped through her skin during the fall.  Her little finger still works not at all.

Alex flying Mickey around the ring.

Alex flying Mickey around the ring.

One of our favorite riders, Alex, who was just a little bitty thing when we first met her years ago, stepped up to show Mickey for us last weekend.  Mickey is quite a change from Alex’s usual ride, so it took a couple rounds to really get his flow, but then they picked up the blue ribbon for the fastest round in Junior-Adult Jumpers.  Mickey is 15 now (we adopted him at five) and he never missed a step when he galloped through the courses.  Alex was outstanding with him.  It brought big smiles to Lauren and I to see her favorite boy do so well after having been off so long.  I hope Alex wants to show him some more!

A big, bay draft cross mare, sprinkled with splashes of white was pulled from the kill pen before she could be sent to slaughter in Canada.  I am trying to adopt her and send her here to a forever home with us.  I think she would be great for Ally and I as she is quiet and dependable.  I am waiting to hear if my application for adoption has been approved.  I realize I have more than enough on my hands but something about this mare just called out to me.  We will see what happens, if she is meant to be a part of our family she will be.  If not, I know she is off the slaughter truck for good with another family.

I have not written about it but Bruno has been laid up, lame, since mid-July.  It has been almost six-weeks since he has walked without pain.  I have my best team of vet Lynn and farrier Sean working innovative approaches to get the big man back to sound.  Currently, he has a huge abscess draining from his good front foot, (I have video again for you all that love pus in action). I hope that with the healing of abscess we get him back to right again.  It breaks my heart to see him stall bound in the hot barn, not moving a step, day after day.  I will not let him continue if we do not find an answer to his pain.

Libby getting TeeDee started.

Libby getting TeeDee started.

The Canter adopted OTTB mare, TeeDee, continues to gain weight, muscle and become a star horse.  She will not be bred this year, so we are working to see what kind of horse she can become in the interim.  Libby has been helping me work TeeDee, Feather and Mickey. I am very grateful.  She has TeeDee cantering quietly and collected.  We even started her over some Xes this week and she took it quietly in stride.

TeeDee taking her first jump,

TeeDee taking her first jump,

I feel battered from the rough summer, emotionally and physically.  But this weekend was finally a quiet one. I caught up on some rest, did a lot of chores, managed to go through many of my mother’s things and feel at ease about farm for the first time in many weeks. This morning as I went out to feed in the pre-dawn light, there was a hint of coolness in the air.  A sea change coming bringing new times and life at Six Meadow Farm.

Thanks for riding along and thank you to all of you who have sent cards, flowers and meals to us. You are much appreciated!!

OTTB Bruno goes to the Dressage Master-A Bruno Story

Amelia making it look beautiful and easy.

Amelia making it look beautiful and easy.

We have owned OTTB Bruno for over 18 months now.  He came lame.  He had surgery on his hoof to correct an infection in his coffin bone.  He was stall bound for over five months.  He has been lame off and on for over three years.

This last Christmas Lauren tried to start Bruno over fences.  They had two weeks of intense instruction and came a long way to getting Bruno to learn and listen.  He still had a long way to go.  He is over 1500 pounds and 17.2 hands.  He is strong and can be opinionated. Lauren was told by the trainer that Bruno would never be an easy ride.

Lauren also has a major project working; bringing along a Flagmount mare who is doing very well in the jumper ring.  Getting time to consistently work Bruno was not easy to find.  His on and off shoeing and lameness issues caused in part by the constant mud at our old place did not help.

My daughter Ally rode and went to school with friend Amelia back in Florida.  We had lost track of Amelia in the 14 years we have been in Texas.  Then Facebook to the rescue and Amelia is back in our life.  I had a strong feeling about Bruno and Amelia.  Amelia has an eventing background and knows all the tools to help Bruno.  When we finally got to our new place, Amelia came and started her education of off the track Bruno as a show horse.

Nancy Lindsey, the quintessential dressage master.

Nancy Lindsey, the quintessential dressage master.

Right around the corner from us in our new place was an instructor, Nancy Lindsey,  who had earned her place in the dressage world.  I heard about her reputation from many of my friends.  We had driven by and seen her place not even a quarter of mile away.  I called to introduce myself and see if she might be available to help Bruno and Amelia.  She said she wasn’t really taking new students but would consider it if the timing could be worked out.

Nancy Lindsey agreed to come to my arena to give Bruno his first dressage lesson.  It was hot and humid, the kind of hot that just hangs in the air and you feel you can’t breathe through the heavy mist. Nancy pulled up in her truck and bounded from the seat.  If you imagined what a seasoned Dressage instructor would look like, this was it!  She was slim and strong in breeches and boots.  She wore an old faded Rolex ball cap.  Her face was tan and her smile engaging.

She headed over to the arena where Bruno and Amelia were warming up (a stupid term on a day like this).  I bet seven year-old Bruno lost gallons in sweat. I told her Bruno’s story and they got to work.   Nancy alternately rewarded and commanded Amelia and the big horse.  I could not believe the giant horse could move like this!  I have seen him constantly improve under Amelia’s guidance and was excited to see him do so much.

Here is a short video of their canter.  Not perfect but coming along!

The trot.

The trot.

 

Look at the stretch in this canter!

Look at the stretch in this canter!

For all the months and years that we waited to see what this horse could do, it was a pretty exciting morning.  Through the dense air emerged horse with a future, an off the track thoroughbred that had managed to make his way through injury and set-backs. I believe one day soon we are going to see the horse take on a competition and triumph.

Have a safe and happy fourth of July weekend.  Thanks for riding along!

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You can read all of Bruno’s stories and see pictures of hoof before and after surgery by searching the “A Bruno Story” category.

Off the track to Six Meadow Farm

OTTB TryDelta, just barely three years old came home today off the track forever.

OTTB TryDelta, just barely three years old came home today off the track forever.

Showing that thoroughbred speed as she easily out runs the white pony.

Showing that thoroughbred speed as she easily out runs the white pony.

In an absolute contrast to her A. P. Indy cousin, Bruno, TryDelta, by A.P. Delta, out of Native Penny by Saxton, is petite, refined and race track lean.  Barely three years old, she has not finished growing or filling out.  She might be 900 pounds after a particularly large meal and stands about 16 hands. Bruno is almost double her weight at 1650 pounds and sticks at 17.2 and some hands high.   Bruno sports lots of white “chrome” as we call it and this mare does not have a spot of white.

Moving pretty cute for the first time in a pasture in months.

Moving pretty cute for the first time in a pasture in months.

So how in the world when I have every stall accounted for and finally had given up on the whole let’s breed a mare to Feather’s sire Flagmount’s Freedom, did this new A.P. Indy mare show up here?

Well, let’s back up a bit for those of you who maybe don’t manage to catch every word of “Exechorseluver”.  Feather, a Flagmount Freedom mare had been sent to my friends in Florida.  She was young, apparently had some major trust and training issues and wasn’t near the size her half sibling, Prince had been.  She was in fact a disappointment to this solid eventing group.  She was offered on Facebook for a very reasonable price.  I jumped at the chance to pick her up, hoping some part of the Flagmount jump, determination and personality lived within her.

Watching her unload with a group of top-notch horses from Irish Day Farm and the Bruheim’s Nordic Lights Farm was a little like watching you country cousin come off a bus in bustling New York.  All the parts were the same but Feather was not looking very special.

Dr. Lynn Criner has cared for her since the first days.  She has followed my stories about Feather’s rise in jumping, higher and higher, as  she keeps accomplishing more.  And even a quick look at Flagmount’s Freedom Facebook page, will show you various youngsters he has sired.  What do they have in common?  Boy, can they jump.

But Lynn had never seen Feather actually compete.  The slightly neurotic and often frightened mare, becomes super mare when she heads in the jumper ring.  She jumps anything and everything and only stops in Lauren makes a mistake.  I guess it impressed Lynn.  Saturday at the show we talked a lot about a mare to breed to Flag as he is getting older and time (for this year anyway) is getting short.  And, yes, I do remember clearly in the post on Betty Sue that I swore off mare hunting and breeding.

But then things changed.  We had a friend who volunteered her warmblood mare for breeding services.  We were excited about this.  Seemed perfect!  The next day, they backed out saying they didn’t want to risk the mare in childbirth.  I get it-but I had already contacted the Flag people saying we were ready to breed.

Unbeknownst to me, Lynn had contacted the trainer of the A.P. Indy mare to see if she was still available.  On Father’s day, Lynn suggested to her husband, an avid pilot, that they fly to San Antonio.  It couldn’t have been greater!  Her husband got to fly and they went off to the track to see the mare.  Lynn didn’t mention she was a vet.  Why complicate things.

Just as I was contacting Lynn to tell her we lost the services of our friend’s mare, she was reaching out to me, to sing the praises of TryDelta,  soon to be an OTTB.  Dr. Marden, owner of Flag (the sire) told us to find a smaller, refined thoroughbred to offset the Irish bulk that comes with Flag babies.  We love Bruno and his A.P. Indy lines and we couldn’t have drawn a more perfect match to what Dr. Marden requested.

Sometimes things just happen and you trip along stupidly until you see the solution that has been under your nose for some time.  Lynn loved the way the mare moved, she is exceptionally thin and just barely three years old.  She will grow some. It felt exceptionally good to take her away from the track and head her home to my meadows of green.  Another rescue gone right!

Yesterday in the trip from hell, (which I will write about later when time soothes some wounds) we drove the trailer down and picked up the little mare.  Essentially for many months now, she has stood in her stall except when out to exercise or race.  She seemed to know instinctively that we were there to save her.  The trainer warned us she didn’t like people much, but she dropped her head into Lynn’s arms as we arrived. I took her halter and she slowly licked my hand.  Sweetest mare ever.  I swear they know.

She loaded easily and quietly into the trailer.  We headed home.  After dinner I took her out to graze and learn about the pasture. She could not have been happier about the beautiful green grass-it was gold to her.

I started her out this morning in a paddock on her own, afraid she would run a lot and be a little silly.  But she quietly inspected things and talked with cousin Bruno over the fence. She and Bruno bonded over the fence and later I moved him in the pasture with her.  They were inseparable the rest of the day.

Jordyn’s cousin is here for the summer and she just met her for the first time.  But as time has passed, they have  found many like traits, similar expressions and hair spun the same golden brown.  It was much like that with Bruno and TeeDee today.  They are absolutely the same color.  TeeDee is missing her cousin’s white chrome but is just seems elegant-like she has on a simple black dress.

We will try to breed her this season if we can.  Hopefully, next year at this time an A.P. Indy/Flagmount Freedom baby will be making their way out into the world.  What a horse that will be!

As always, thanks for riding along!!

 

 

The Sound of a Million Dreams

Amber finishing a half marathon- first time ever!

Amber finishing a half marathon first time ever!

 

Exciting times, these last few days.  My oldest daughter Amber who has never run any kind of race, decided in a moment of delusion, madness or just pure stubbornness to sign up for a half marathon.  Couldn’t she have started with like a 10k?  You don’t have to be a tremendous athlete or fast runner to make a 10k, you can even walk.  But Amber set her sights on the half marathon and off she went.  She trained through one of the worst winters in Denver history.  She kept running.  Even last week, in May,  it snowed again.  You never know what you are going to get weather wise there.

But Amber is one for setting goals and keeping them.  She had a dream to run and she did- the entire way. Wow, I am so impressed and proud of her!  Just think what she could do here at sea level.

Ally spent her childhood about 45 minutes from the Disney castle in Florida.  She has wanted to take her family since Jordyn was little.  They left Friday and are having a fabulous time.

Not sure Kendyll is so impressed with the weird little man.

Not sure Kendyll is so impressed with the weird little man.

I hope they make it across to Ally’s home town and the glistening beaches of the Atlantic.  Disney makes dreams come true for many and I know it is for Ally and family.

 

Since off-the-track  Thoroughbred Bruno joined our family a year and a half ago, we have battled to cure a hoof infection, then get him sound enough to ride.  Once he was sound, we struggled to get him ridden with commitments Lauren already had with Feather.  Several times we talked about my daughter Ally’s friend who was an eventer coming to try Bruno.  But you know with a giant, sometimes difficult horse, it isn’t easy to trust anyone with your baby. Finally, since coming to Richmond, I knew it was time.

When Amelia got here, I offered her Mickey to ride first.  She said she was fine on Bruno. Okay,then.

First ride, learning to bend.

First ride, learning to bend.

The second ride today was really Bruno’s third day of work.  Bruno is always better after three days of work. (Lauren had ridden him yesterday.) Today, he was actually listening and trying.  It was a dream come true to see Bruno jump a few fences, bend along the lines and make me believe this big black horse might have a career after all.

It has been a time for us when a lot of dreams are coming true.  We are appreciative and gladdened.

Jump Bruno, jump!

Jump Bruno, jump!

Bend me, shape me!

Bend me, shape me!

 

Looking pretty perfect.

Looking pretty perfect.