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!

Look ma, one foot!

Bruno out in the second pasture, bucking with all his weight on his newly healed hoof!  "Look mom, one leg!"

Bruno out in the second pasture, bucking with all his weight on his newly healed hoof! “Look mom, one leg!”

Bruno got to go out first thing this morning into the second paddock where I would not have to worry about him hitting  the roof.  It was a dreary overcast day but nothing was standing in the way of this big gelding, green grass and freedom.  He dashed back and forth running with the pure joy of his thoroughbred heritage-the one that includes Seattle Slew and the big Secretariat.  Many, many races were made back to paddock fence with sliding stops that would have caused envy to a reining horse.  I caught the picture above as he bucked and ran.  I am sending it Dr. Marsh and Dr. Criner to show them this guy is placing all 1350 pounds of his body weight on his newly healed hoof-AND it is holding up fine.

To watch him trot, canter and gallop without a single off-step was a miracle time for me.  I remembered feeling so helpless/hopeless when it was determined he had to have surgery but to see him run today you would never know he had a problem, surgery or been out for months.

Okay, we are still a long way from a successful ride in the jumper ring-he has not had much training as a jumper because he was always having trouble with his foot.  But this horse has totally enveloped Lauren with love.  I had to remind her that this horse was not a pet and if he pushed her around, she had to bark back at him and re-gain his respect outside the stall.  And we will have to see if the hoof holds up now that he is running and pounding on it.  Lots of things to do before this is a total success story, but it a pretty awesome mid-point!

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My shoulder is healing.  I am doing the daily exercises.  It hurts.  Sleep is always hard.  My other shoulder aches all the time now as well, doing the work of both.

Lauren and Feather have a horse show this weekend.  Pictures and updates to come!

My daughters, Ally and Amber, met in Orlando today.  It will be a chance to piggy-back off Amber’s nursing seminar with some time alone with for the sisters.  I keep thinking of my son-in-laws, in Denver and Houston, respectively, handling two children each without their wives.  Wish I had a little nanny cam to watch how things are going but I know they will both have it under control.

PuppyGirl (the Yorkie) and Kona were having some fun times on the couch the other night.  Talk about cute!

Face off!

Face off!

Unveiling Bruno’s hoof-A Bruno Story

As Bruno's hoof was being stitched on Monday.

As Bruno’s hoof was being stitched on Monday.

Maybe one day you will be able to read this blog without pictures of bloody hooves.  I truly hope that comes to pass.  For now, it is our subject matter.  The picture above was the last I saw of Bruno’s hoof before it was bandaged at the vet.

We had instructions to unbandage it today and we also needed to re-bandage his ‘bad’ hoof.  Equipped with new, sharper bandage scissors, Lauren tied up Bruno and got ready to see how the hoof was doing.  It was obvious from watching Bru in the stall that the foot hurt.  He was favoring it.  The minute Lauren got close to it, Bruno would swing the hoof up and away.  Horse’s back feet are dangerous under good circumstances, hurting hooves should be avoided.  So, I picked up his front hoof with the theory being, with one hoof up, Bruno would be hard-pressed to kick out with his other foot. 

It worked pretty well.  We took it slow.  Lauren cutting through the layers of bandage.  Finally, it was ready for the unveiling. It looked way better than when I saw it last!  The stitches were holding the wound together well.  It looked clean and was not draining.  However, you can see from the picture (yes another hoof picture-but not really bloody)  the side that is cut is swollen to three times the size of other side of the hoof.

Looking so much better!

Looking so much better!

Okay, so maybe it still is horribly deformed but way better than shooting blood.  Then Lauren unwrapped his ‘bad’ hoof.  I was afraid it had gotten wet with blood or liquids during the whole Bruno-tries-to-bleed-to-death ordeal but we took off the surgical plate covering the hoof and it looked to be overall-dry.  In fact, it looked like more, strong healthy hoof had grown since I had seen it last.  The hole continues to close.  It still has a way to go on the side but it is growing down.  We will see what the A&M vets think on Monday.  Of course, first we will have to explain why the horse they fixed is now seriously lame on another foot.  Not sure how they will handle that!

Bruno's hoof oon Dec. 31st

Bruno’s hoof on Dec. 31st-note the gap (space) between hoof and shoe

Bruno's hoof today day 77 after surgery.

Bruno’s hoof today day 77 after surgery.

At least this is definitely a positive!  Yay, Bruno (and thanks to Lauren for all her hard work keeping him clean, doctored, and well).