Begin Again-A Bruno Story

He's Back!!! He’s Back!!!

Tonight, for the second time since his December surgery, OTTB Bruno, was saddled up to be ridden. His first ride back a few weeks ago, was riddled with problems. Bruno was ready to run, away, side-ways, and fast but not necessarily without a limp. His sore foot was just not up for the ride yet.

Tonight, we saddled up six-year old Bruno in the stifling heat of the early Texas evening. We started out with Bruno on the lunge line, just to see how he was moving. He appeared to be moving well. The shot above shows him in a full gallop, all four feet off the ground. This time he dashed around on the line, alternately bucking and playing. At one point, he was doing a great impression of a dressage horse perfecting his canter.

And then with slow deliberation, Lauren took Bruno through a collected walk.

For having been off work, he has some nice muscling and abs.

For having been off work, he has some nice muscling and abs.

When Lauren asked for the trot (actually just sat forward a little in her saddle), Bruno immediately compiled.  He was a little bit of tough ride for a few minutes but they did a lot serpentines and turns so that he could get his mind on work. 

Starting to get his nice long extension back at the trot.

Starting to get his nice long extension back at the trot.

They worked for about 20 minutes.  Bruno and Lauren were drenched in sweat.  I told her to go ahead and walk him out.  He had done well.  I turned my back and was looking at the pictures on phone when I heard Bruno thunder up behind me.  And almost six months after his surgery which cut out a significant portion of his coffin bone, he was cantering under saddle quite delightfully.  I am pretty thrilled with his progress and hope one day soon to see him leap over a jump.  Dare I dream?

The tail was a swishing but the legs were moving fine!

The tail was a swishing but the legs were moving fine!

Day One-Starts Now!-A Bruno Story

Mimi is a 13 hand Welsh pony.  Bruno is big.

Mimi is a 13 hand Welsh pony. Bruno is big.

It has been a long day waiting for the call from Dr. Marsh.  The surgery was scheduled for 1:00 pm.  I had been watching the clock all day.  Two o’clock came and went as did three and four.  When 5:00 rolled around, I tried to call the vet hospital knowing it was unlikely I would get cell reception once I got out in the country near my home.  A polite receptionist told me Dr. Marsh was not available.

Finally, the call came in.  Dr. Marsh reported that the surgery had gone well.  He had said yesterday that he doubted the infection would go to the bone, although Dr. Criner had felt it was involved from the start.  The infection did go up through his hoof directly into the coffin bone.   There was abnormal tissue, pus and other signs of infection along the way.  They were successful in totally cleaning all the infection out of the area leaving clean, healthy bone in its place.  So, more of the hoof got cut away than we had hoped but all the infection is now gone and we can go forward with new, healthy tissue. 

Due to the way the hoof was cut, it will be possible to get a special shoe on him, one with a treatment plate that unscrews off the bottom so we can dress and treat the hoof but keep it protected as well. 

Dr. Marsh said Bruno was a trooper.  He handled the anesthesia and the surgery well and was resting comfortably now in a big stall.  He did say tomorrow might be a little rougher for him. 

Just like at the people hospitals, Dr. Marsh was urging Bruno’s release as soon as he could handle it.  Maybe Sunday or Monday, we will see how he is doing and what the bill is so far and then decide if it is time for him to come home. 

As far as I am concerned, I am marking this as day one of his recovery and his road to the show ring.  Maybe my Christmas present next year will be seeing him soundly walk, trot and canter.  That would be pretty terrific!