Against All Odds Part 2

Friday, March 1:

Susan Dowlatshahi sent me an AlphaSonic Unit--- it produces Chi Gong waves--- plus the accupressure point manual. We are starting the suggested regimen tonight.

Saturday, March 2:

The vet Gary Evans, who works with our original vet Don Warden, and who has many more years than any of us came Saturday and was amazed at Scimitar's progress. He was not worried about the swelling in the legs and sheath; he expected it. He said he would call Don and tell him the horse will stand--- it is just a matter of time. We were ecstatic--- Scimitar was SMUG! The AlphaSonic treatment that morning took the swelling down one-half inch from where it was in the morning to the time of my measurement in the afternoon.

I promise I will post more pictures soon-- just in the barn all the time these days. Feel we are on a time clock. Who knows when Alamo Pintado may need back their sling. We are trying to get him to stand without the sling as soon as he is strong enough. After 4 months of recumbence, he is making remarkable progress-- it has only been a little over a week since we got him up on the sling.

The Abtronic label fell off the back of the unit, probably Friday night in the shavings when I removed it. It insulates the metal contacts and I fear it would be too much voltage without it. It seemed to cause a great reaction so far as stimulating his muscles (thanks to a ridecamper for the suggestion!). We called this AM and the clerk said her manager would not be back for a week to replace it. We will continue to use the AlphaSonic, which Susan says also does muscle toning. In fact, she believes that the Abtronic works on short bodybuilder type muscles, while her machine works on long muscles. Perhaps there is a reason we are unable to use it for a week.


Tuesday, March 5:

He'S UP!!! He is using his back legs more and more and resting less and less in his sling (he uses it like an easy chair--- resting his butt, while putting weight on his front legs). Dr. Karen Hale has been doing miracles with her horse chiropractic, Helena Bresk and her associate Christina have been doing energy work, neurokinesiology and homeopathy for the past several weeks. The AlphaSonic seems to have intensified all the efforts of the rest of us and is doing ABSOLUTE MIRACLES!!! I have been using it on him for around 6 hours/day and then I've had it on all night a few nights. He is using his back legs much more and this infrasound unit has taken down the edema quite a bit. Mark and I use lead lines to pull them under him so he can put more and more weight on them. Karen believes he is not bothered by contracted tendons, but rather that he needs to reestablish his memory patterns for how he should stand. We are working on that with both the Chi-Gong machine (AlphaSonic) and TTouch/massage. Toss in a LOT of prayers and carrots for trying hard and you get A LOT OF PROGRESS!!

Karen Hale, the horse Chiropractor came again and was AMAZED at his progress. She worked on the accupressure points and does Victor Franks work, as well as vector cranial therapy. She also did some work to alleviate the edema. Helena had left some homeopathic medicine for it as well when she and Christina had come out and worked on him Monday evening. They primarily concentrated on the edema in his legs, which was nothing compared to how much edema was there before I started using the AlphaSonic unit. We decided not to give him anything after Karen's treatment as he had also had his AlphaSonic treatments. She really was impressed with the AlphaSonic and said she is considering getting one herself now. Works on the same points as she does and with faster results due to the Chi-Gong energy. It is amazing. All of us are doing the same things--- just approaching the same goals from slightly different angles and all adding to the work of the others. As I have said before, this has been a REAL GROUP effort.. and then the prayers...

We wanted to continue to encourage Bunny to get his back legs more under him and couldn't stand there all the time with the lead lines stabilizing his back legs so we came up with the idea of using bungie cord lead lines (Leaders --- which are absolutely great for teaching horses not to set back) to encourage him to keep his legs back. He can still slide them forward if he wants, but has to use his muscles if he does. If he chooses, he can sit in the sling and bend his legs; however, he has been standing up more. The sling is loose in the back with only minor support through the midsection.

The AlphaSonic Chi-Gong infrasound machine has increased his leg activity and decreased the swelling remarkably. May use that and the Abtronic units together once we get a new Abtronic unit. The AlphaSonic also reportedly works on vertigo. I can't help thinking what would have happened if we had known about the Anderson Sling and the AlphaSonic MONTHS ago.... I guess I could drive myself nuts with that--- all things happen for a reason and I truly believe there is a PLAN.

Bunny is using his back legs more and more and resting less and less in his sling (he uses it like an easy chair--- resting his butt, while putting weight on his front legs). This evening, we dropped the sling way down and he stood on all four legs for over three hours with no sign of fatigue!!! We are going to raise it a little before we go to bed tonight so that it will be easier for him to sit if he needs to. He is soooo happy and pleased with himself! He was a little unstable when he tried to step forward and then realized he couldn't because of the sling, BUT we feel he still needs it's support until he entirely gets his sea legs. We are still using the AlphaSonic and we did TTouch on him to aid in his proprioception We are sooo excited!! I promise I will get pictures up soon. I just usually am dragging by the time I get back to the house at night. Have to go down and check on him still. Will try to get up the pics tomorrow!

Thursday, March 7:

Scimitar AKA Bunny Face is UP!!! Totally standing WITHOUT the support of the sling (we lowered it) for 5 hours last night. We raised it before we went to bed in case he tired and needed to sit down to rest!!! We are ALMOST THERE!! Now he needs to learn to walk again--- we will be releasing corner ties (as per Charlie's, the inventor of the sling, advice) so that he can walk in a circle. On my way to the barn--- thank you all for your advice and support. I'll post new pics soon--- just takes a long time to use that photo album program and I need to do some serious rehab with him.

Saturday, March 9:

Scimitar had a pressure sore proud flesh dome on his right hip (the side he always laid on) that was 2 inches in diameter by 2 inches high. Because he is starting to move around so much, the sling straps kept cutting into it and caused it to bleed--- more lately. We hesitated to have it removed because we knew it was going to be a mess--- no nerves but just tissue and blood vessels--- BUT it was already bleeding and we got to thinking that we would eventually have to have it removed anyway (waaaay past the granulex stage) and it would be a REAL BUGGER to bandage once he was out of the sling----- soooo, with my trusty scalpel, Mark excised it almost ALL off but left a thin layer that could be dealt with later with granulex.

We had NO idea HOW MUCH blood could come from a little tissue!!!!! There we were with our wound cauterizing powder and Adaptic pads and bandages--- and then came the gush--- and we put powder and the blood washed it off and we went through ALL our bandages and switched over to Huggies (they are absorbent--- but actually these were KMart knockoffs and no plastic, which might be good because they can breathe... and then the padding and pressure. Mark stood there pressing hard while I ran to the drug store for more Adaptic. There are still a few gushers and after putting about 10 diapers on it, putting duct tape all over, then fleece material for padding and then tightening the sling straps to hold it in plus wrapping a polo around the leg and up over his back as another stabilizer--- we are HOPING we have an hour before we need to again change the bandages.
We've removed some proud flesh on a leg before-- but it never bled this much.


Sunday, March 10:

In response to a ridecamper inquiry about the straps: the straps don't rub on him except when he had that big dome of proud flesh--- that's why I wanted to cut it out. Now, even though it is a BIG MESS, I'm glad we did it--- we held the bandages on last night by hoisting him up and putting the pads under the straps of the sling--- he couldn't move around enough to dislodge them. Kept some pressure on them. Still light oozing. The powder is supposed to cauterize but it is not working on the larger vessels. Can you believe Mark even tried toilet tissue--- said it worked on his shaving cuts and actually, it did slow the bleeding some. But then I think about pulling/cleaning it off. But Mark pointed out that by then, at least he'll have produced some more blood and hopefully things will have quieted down. I don't know how we ever would have gotten rid of the proud flesh once he is totally mobile and without any sling--- nothing to hold the pressure bandage on with then. If we cauterize the area with heat I would wonder about a permanent big scar--- like a branding iron???

The good news--- yesterday we loosened all the straps while we were "operating" and holding the pressure bandages and dressing the wound, etc. (By the way, the vet was right--- there were absolutely NO nerves in there as he was munching on hay during the whole procedure and while we were feverishly trying to stop the bleeding. I kept checking his gums and he showed no signs of anemia, no signs of dehydration with the pinch test, and his eyes were calm and clear. In short, he was oblivious and calm and we were emotional wrecks!) Anyway, as I started to say, we had EVERYTHING loose in the back and he had NO WOBBLES at all!!! He shifted his weight from one back leg to the other and moved them with no signs of imbalance. We had seen a fair amount of wobble on Thurs and Friday AM and the only thing I did differently was that Friday afternoon I used the AlphaSonic unit on all the pressure points which Susan had suggested for vertigo and then on one set I found in her book for paralysis of the back legs. Took me HOURS to do each one for a minute, bilaterally plus my normal daily scan and 10 minutes on each legs, plus a minute on each ear and 5 minutes on the pole point, gates of heaven point and umbilical point (as per Susan). It was REALLY worth the effort when I saw that he had soooo much more stability on Sat!!! I laid off the machine Saturday (as per Susan again to give him time to integrate) only doing my body scan and leg scans. I'm going to scrape pennies together to get this thing---it's AMAZING!!

Back to the proud flesh fiasco: Checked him at 4:30 this AM and he was fine, gum color good, even though diapers were soaked. Put in new ones. Then I didn't wake up until 8:00 (couldn't get right back to sleep--- burrr--- cold here--- of course, our CA 40 degrees probably sounds like spring to some of you) and again he seemed fine although diapers were again soaked. How much blood can a horse lose?!! Eating, drinking, gums OK and pinch test fine. I am really glad he has been on SMZs for the last few weeks. Going back to get more cauterizing wound powder. Sandy suggested urine therapy that she read about; may give it a try if the bleeding doesn't stop soon. One of our Ttouch volunteers, Christina, does it daily and swears by it. She brought me a book to read on it and I must admit it makes sense-- just not sure I am ready to do a Waterworld yet (remember Kevin Costner recycled his own pee?) We'll see...

Monday, March 11:

I know I promised to update the pics, but this proud flesh thing set me back. He has stopped bleeding--- thanks for all the ridecamper suggestions--- and he is on his legs ALL day now except for the night when we raise him a bit to allow him to sit down as needed (and it also helped us to secure the bandages to stop the bleeding). He has no wobbles since I did the pressure points for vertigo and paralysis of the back legs with the AlphaSonic.

Tonight Helena Bresk and Christina Alfonso came over again and did TTouch work with Bunny. It was amazing to see how relaxed he became. Helena worked a lot with his mouth to release pent-up emotions, while Christina worked on the little bit of edema left in his hocks. They also worked on his leg joints and tail. He was very relaxed when they left. I've been giving him Rescue, a homeopathic, several times a day which noticeably picks up his spirits. He absolutely loves it and sucks it from the little eyedropper with his lips. Mark thinks it's the alcohol in the homeopathic and warns me about sending the guy on a path of ruin; however, I believe it's the homeopathic giving him a sense of well-being.

Thursday, March 14:

Well, the boy WALKED Tuesday!!! We released the corner ties and he turned himself in a circle until he noticed the bag of carrots sitting on the stairs and promptly stopped until we offered him some. Mark and I were nervous about the tow truck cable being twisted so much so Mark held on to the frame and twisted it back the other way. I'm afraid he went a little too fast for the boy and Bunny got his legs crossed over but he straightened them out again and was fine. He was absolutely exhausted that Tuesday night. I spent an hour with the AlphaSonic followed by TTouch so we decided to give him yesterday off. I was tied up with the farrier all day but I kept the AlphaSonic on low, focused on him.

The TTouch work that Helena and Christina did on him Monday night REALLY paid off in terms of his being able to turn himself in a 3/4 circle! I'm experimenting with using the AlphaSonic to do TTouch moves to see if it accentuates the TTouch. Have to defer to Bobbie here and see if that has been attempted yet.

Today I am going to once again hit all the vertigo and rear legs paralysis points as that seemed to give him much strength. Not sure if he has ANY vertigo now, but it seemed to help with coordination, as did TTouch Mon night. I do not have the luxury of trying just one discipline as I am convinced that both work and will be synergistic to each other. Of course the problem with that is that I cannot definitively say which works better, but then at this point I just want him to get better as quickly as possible--- no time for blind studies, etc. I do know that after we have used neurokinesiology, homeopathic (phosphorus and Rescue), TTouch, and AlphaSonic, and Dr. Hale has been doing vector cranial therapy and using the activator on him and he has dramatically improved with each different application. I am VERY grateful for all the help we have received thus far.


Sunday, March 17:

Bunny is WALKING (in a circle by himself)!!!

Friday we stripped all of the sling away from him except for the middle portion. Good thing!! He had gotten some poop inside the butt portion unbeknownst to us and it had "burned" him like a severe diaper rash--- then there was the part by the underneath leg straps that had cut into him and formed a wound---- of course, there wouldn't have been anything we could have done about it until now anyway, as he has just gotten strong enough to remove this panel the last few days. It seems we take care of one thing, another challenge emerges, then we take care of that... and.... similar to what we went through with Explodent and his chronic laminitis--- you fix the rotation with trimming and shoes and then you get contracted tendons and you put on a wedge on to fix that and then the rotation starts... and back and forth it went for the six years we had him. What I learned was that there was NO one answer--- we had the best farriers and vets available for him (that was when we had $$$)--- and still it was a balancing act of using different methods at different times. This is like deja vu.

Friday and Saturday I was stuck doing web work (loooong overdue) and Mark handled the poop, SMZ, and lotion for the "diaper rash"/cuts detail. My friend in England (an endurance rider I met on ridecamp and invited to stay with us last year for a couple of days and rode with us on the beach with her husband) is now a Reiki Master. Annie Lovell emailed me on Thursday, March 14 and asked to do remote healing with Scimitar. She coordinated with me for Friday and Saturday. We concentrated on his attitude (he has been getting a little crabby lately---when we took off the butt section, we could readily understand why--- must have been painful) and on his strength in his back legs. I didn't use anything myself the last three days. Her efforts have paid off because he was strong enough to walk in 1/3 circles today. He would rotate enough to get the carrot I held out, but then returned to the start position each time--- a creature of habit--- his security, I guess. I had planned to work on the balance issue with the AlphaSonic but was sidetracked by errands--- some of which involved more Bunny supplies.

I was impressed with his progress during these last few days with the Reiki and truly believe that all these techniques are doing the same thing---- Reiki, AlphaSonic, TTouch, neurokinesiological release, homeopathy, chiropractice..... just approaching the challenges from slightly different directions. Since I am not the expert with the other disciplines (although I studied some neurokinesiological release with Michel), my contribution has been following through with the AlphaSonic, doing the TTouch things I have learned from Bobby, a little neurokinesiological release, and a LOT of pooper scooping, and hugging/feeding carrots and his latest love--- SEEDLESS red grapes.

The rest has been provided by experts in their fields, generously donating their time and resources, and I am VERY grateful for the help. I can never thank Susan enough for the use of the AlphaSonic (which, by the way, has unfrozen my shoulder after 2 treatments when 2 months of PT 3 times/week didn't do a thing!) Also want to thank Charlie Anderson, the inventor of the Sling, and Dr. Rick of Alamo Pintado Vet Hospital, the owner of the sling without which NOTHING would have been possible, as is the case with Pete Gray, who has been working with us with his tow truck and Karen who babysat in my absence--- and on and on... Once again I want to reitterate that this has been a GROUP project--- plus all you ridecampers who have sent your prayers. The animal communicator said that Bunny is a metaphor of the aftermath of 911! Hillary wrote a book It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.... well it truly has taken an INTERNATIONAL community to raise Bunny!

Our next step is to take him out with the tow truck for a walk---- WHEN it stops raining, that is.


Thursday, March 28:

Where do I start?!! This has been the week from "down-under" and I DON'T mean Australia!

I last posted on the 17th when Bunny was making remarkable progress with the TTouch and AlphaSonic. As I am no TTouch practitioner (I wish!), I have to rely primarily on the AlphaSonic between visits from Helena, although I am able to do some elementary TTouches that I have learned from Bobbie Lieberman. By the way, Bunny and I will be fighting over the AlphaSonic when he is walking without any support again. It has done miracles for my back and shoulder (which thanks to the device, is no longer frozen!) I've gotten requests for the address or phone number to order it. Call Susan toll free at 877 244-6942; she is very knowledgeable about the chi-gong energy concept and the acupuncture points for relief.

Anywho, back to Bunny. He was feeling so much better and stronger after being up that we kept the butt part off of him so that the rash and cuts could heal. He could no longer "sit down" at night but didn't seem to need to do so. At one point we considered trying to lower him down so that he could have a day off; however, it was such a nightmare to get the sling on (as we were REAL amateurs with it) and we needed him under anesthesia the whole time, that we decided we would wait. After all, he was almost ready to walk and we anticipated him doing so in a week or so, as soon as he had regained a little more strength. That Friday, the 22nd, he decided he was going to join the other horses in pasture and through a mini temper tantrum--- bucked in place and tried to run through the sling. This was a GOOD sign--- he felt he was ready--- but was just a little unsteady for balance--nothing major but we felt he was not yet ready to rock and roll. One bad fall and we would be back where we started!

Well, Bunny decided not to wait! On Saturday morning Mark found him laying underneath the frame of the sling, the sling still very much in tact--- have NO idea how he accomplished such a thing without a major undertaking--- and he was TIRED! He must have "sat down" and then the sling must have swung forward allowing him to slide his front legs out. Don't know how hard he struggled, but outside of some bruised elbows and some apparent muscle soreness, he appeared to be fine (although a "tad" grumpy-- like we should have been on call to realize his plight!) We decided to let him rest his legs for a couple of days. We used the AlphaSonic to strengthen him during that time. We were having anxiety attacks about how the heck we would get the sling on him again without the vet and a major undertaking.

Tuesday, the 26th he became depressed and we knew we had to make our move. We also couldn't risk having the return of the "pressure sore from hell" that we had just painstakingly removed with about a gallon loss of blood to Bunny (don't want to repeat THAT fiasco again!!!) Soooo, with the 2 tranqs that I still had (will not give up the name of the vet who left them for emergencies--- very light doses) and Mark, we gritted our teeth and gave him one of the shots and started getting the sling under him again. NOT AN EASY TASK!!! Fortunately Helena and Chris showed up and we rolled him and pulled him this way and that! He was not as tranq'ed as he had been with the heavier doses Dr. Warden had given, so his legs flailed during rolling--- we were unable to put him in a dorsal position as previously. We first thought we could get away with only putting on the mid-section but quickly discovered the reason for the leg and butt sections when we attempted the first aborted lift. Scurrying around frantically trying to piece things together, we had a deadline of the first tranq wearing off and only one left. Mark was ready to give up at one point but he was surrounded by three women! He had just put up my round pen that day and was exhausted--- but his tiredness couldn't compete with three pleading women. I'm going to have my kids dig up his body 50 years after he dies (I think I remember that's what the Catholic Church required) to prove he is still in tact so that he can be officially sainted!

Bunny was waking up and rather than give him the last shot, we tried something desperate. Banking on the fact that he didn't want to die and the possibility that he had heard Mark make comments about "beating a dead horse" we attempted to get him to get up on his elbows---- it worked!!! He sat up! We were then able to get the middle section under him and fasten it. We couldn't get the the leg pieces on the one side nor fasten the butt section, but now that he was up, we figured they were not crucial. We took a chance and I went to the tow truck to lift him quickly before he would lay back down on his side again. I only got him up about a foot when all of a sudden he leapt up by himself from that point. I was frantically trying to get the frame up as quickly as possible and Mark was trying to keep it from hitting him. Meanwhile, poor Chris was unprepared for the flurry of activity and was caught in the back corner. When he got up he was caught by the frame and initially started swinging like Peter Pan! She was trapped and no one could get to her. Through a miracle, she emerged unharmed but I would have given anything to have gotten the whole thing on tape! It was incredible! People were frantically moving this way and that to get out of his way and there were some dicey moments. A future safety tip would have been to have the corner ties secured--- but then we are not sure that he would have had the leverage to lift himself! He was visibly PROUD of himself--- realizing that he had the strength to get up with very little initial assistance. After he was standing it was easy to attach the breast collar and butt section. We didn't need the leg sections and put the sling 2 inches beneath him--- it was only in case he got off balance. He could not sit down in it--- didn't seem to need to--- and the butt section was only to prevent him from pulling another Houdini act.

So his present state is standing with almost no support and walking in a circle. Our plans this weekend are to put bales of straw up, padding the stall area, and making a belly sling that can be lifted without the metal frame -- that way we can take off the sling and let him move around the very confined area freely and if he lays down, just give him a little help with getting up without a major undertaking and no danger from the flinging frame. After his Peter Pan flight we have definitely ruled out using the tow truck as a walker! We are currently using the AlphaSonic an hour and one half a day to strengthen his legs. He has almost total coordination now, so far as we can tell. We just don't want to chance a setback by going to fast. Helena is calling Karen to have her give him a chiropractic treatment--- we may all stand in line! Things are looking REAL good for the boy!!!


Monday, April 15th

Sorry my update has been so long in coming but things have been hectic here. Various things, not the least of which has been Scimitar's (Bunny's) attempts to escape from his sling. To briefly recap: the first time he merely sat down and slid his front legs out the back (some contortionist, huh?) and the second time he bucked so hard that he broke the pulley. Fortunately he was smart enough to lay there until we could rescue him.

We have since taken him out of the sling twice. The first time was Friday, April 5th. He was standing so well we decided to keep the sling part on (it is soooo hard to get back under him) and just unhook the frame---- BAD idea! We didn't take off the butt panel and it lay loose on his butt, frightening him and he simply sat down. We unhooked it and he attempted to stand, but it required too much strength for his one hind leg--- the right hind--- and he was unable to stand from a laying position. We let him rest for a few days. The first day he was REALLY happy. Loved the rest on his legs and did what he'd been wanting to do for weeks!! He rolled in the shavings! After a few days he got depressed. On Tuesday the 9th we knew we had to raise him again--- that he still didn't have the confidence and perhaps strength to get up on his own. We had already discovered that he could raise himself to a sit position allowing us to attach the belly portion of the sling and give him a boost. This he did for the second time. From there he stood up on his own and we had to feverishly raise the cable holding the frame so that he would not hit his head or neck. We did this and he was standing again. I used the AlphaSonic (thank you again, Susan) and really concentrated on his legs. He was rested and after a few days we could really see the change from the chi-gong machine--- MUCH more coordinated in his hind feet and walking in circles in the barn with much improved coordination. He used the sling only for occasional balance. Helena and Chris had worked Ttouch on him that Monday, the 8th, while he was lying down and Helena had been able to get to some of Michel Kaplan's neurokinesiological release points in the groin that were hard to reach with the sling on. All was looking good.

On Friday, the 12th, we decided to give it another go, THIS time removing the butt and chest pieces first. The moment we detached the frame and he realized he was on his own, he panicked and sat down. It was obvious that the frame was providing a BIG emotional support for him. We would have to build his confidence.

As much risk as there was in using the tow truck, we had no other option. Yesterday, Sunday, the 14th, we tied straw onto the back and, (having let him rest his legs a couple of days in the barn), we pulled him out of the barn and "encouraged" him to sit up. We tried cheering, bribing, yelling, ignoring--- everything--- but he was afraid and resisted. Then I got the idea of Halyne's baby! She had been born in the stall right across form him on Easter and I would open her door so he could watch her. She even escaped over to him once and he just LOVED her. I marched the mare and foal in front of him and he finally sat up--- he couldn't hold out any longer. We slipped the sling under him and raised him up quickly. Next we secured the butt and chest panels and -- yes--- we took him for a WALK!!!

He was a bit unsteady at first but grew more sure with every step. The sling was a good 2 inches beneath his body and just providing him with a little support when he got unstable--- mostly emotional support. The whole pasture came over to the fence to cheer him on--- no kidding!! Like when a new foal is born! He was soooo proud of himself!! We went VERY slow (which unfortunately limits our walks lest we burn up the clutch on the tow truck) but he got more and more steady with every step. We rested him a little after appox. 100 yards and then let him walk past the barn and into a paddock under a tree where we parked the tow truck in the shade. There he can see all the horses in pasture, but unfortunately cannot move much lest he hurt himself, the tow truck or both (Pete has been soooo patient with us and such a good friend to Bunny).

Today Bunny is rearing to go, but we have to be careful of the clutch. Pete is going to try to slow down the idle enough that we can go into a granny??? gear and go slow enough for him without riding the clutch. In the meantime he is VERY hot to trot and I don't want him to lose momentum. Seemed to be in very good spirits this AM. The only down side is that he us too far away from a power supply for me to use the AlphaSonic on him. Next time we walk him I can stop by the barn to use it on him. It is really important at this time!
Any mechanics out there have ideas on saving Pete's clutch?

I know I keep promising pics but it took me around 12 hours to do that picture page before. Should be easier this time as I know the program but then I filled up my hard drives making a family video for my Aunt's 90th b-day and now my husband's 2 dad's/stepdads both have their bdays in April and you know I can't use the exact same footage in BOTH! (politically incorrect to feature both sets of parents!) Help is on the way as I just bought another 80 gig hard drive and can now download pics again. Now I have to find the time when I am not too zombied out at night to do the deed. I know I have to do it soon or all of you will think I've just made this whole thing up! It does sound too good to be true--- and I am LIVING it!
We video'd the whole walk and I'll make a stab at lifting the stills soon. Until then, send good wishes. We are on the home stretch! He just needs to remember how to walk again.


Wednesday, April 17th

Tonight we attempted to take Bunny for another walk. Remember, we could only do so twice/week lest the clutch burn out in the tow truck. Well Bunny was literally "rearing to go!" He almost jumped out of the sling--- bucking, rearing, everything. We drove the truck out of the paddock and onto the driveway (DG) and Mark started out riding the clutch but then Bunny was trying to go past the truck and push out of his sling so I told Mark to go faster,.... then faster... then finally Mark was not only letting the clutch out all of the way, but also giving it gas!! Bunny was better at the trot than the walk. At the walk he crosses over his hind feet every few steps, then he will have some balanced steps. At the trot he was tracking much straighter. Mark was soooo amazed. I took over the diving after 20 minutes of driving back and forth about 100 yards so that Mark could watch him, too. Bunny HATED it when we stopped to give him a rest! Bucked and tried to move forward. I drove on the patch of grass next to the pasture fence and Mark was able to watch him--- he was totally amazed!!! He was tracking fairly straight. Now we just have to get him to do that at a walk so he won't fall down. Any suggestions?

He backs better than he walks. His legs are spread far apart at a back (we have to do a three point turn with the truck to go back towards the barn), but going straight ahead at a slower walk, he wants to cross over his back legs. As time went on he got better but then after around 40 minutes he got tired and started to lose it again. He didn't want to stop, though, and got a little ticked when we called it a day--- by that time it was around 7 and starting to get dark. I used the AlphaSonic on him until almost 8:00 so that he would not be sore tomorrow (works for me! and Mark after basketball and tennis).

We are soooo excited. I always knew he would walk again but now Mark knows for sure he is just weeks away from functioning totally on his own. We just need to walk him daily now to build his muscles AND confidence. Now that we can go faster, we don't have to worry about the clutch. We can see that Bunny is having more and more "good" steps, meaning a wider stance between his back legs. The one thing working against him is his sire's "legginess" that his "kids" inherit. Most of his sons, in particular, tend to walk "single-footed" in back as 2 and 3 year olds--- then they grow out of it by 5. One vet attributed it to fast growth. Bunny is at least 15.1 now and only a three year old. He's going to be a big one. We are sooo sad now that he was gelded. He is soooo like his sire in so many ways--- the intelligence, the heart, the athletic ability, and the will to keep going--- never giving up. What a sire he would have made.

Oh well. He'll be my riding horse for sure. His half brother Riverdance will just have to console himself with the mares [;-)]
We are truly on the last stretch now. I was thinking tonight of how different it will be without Bunny to take care of. Our lives have so revolved around his needs for so many months now. It almost feels like a loss--- strange, huh? It is wonderful seeing him get motivated and pissed when he thinks we are being too protective. His confidence is building and he is impatient to "be there." The funny thing is, I discovered long ago there is no "there." Just a bunch of pit stops strung together in what seems like a continuum but in reality is perhaps a spiral. Whoops, I'm getting far too philosophical here. At any rate, Bunny will soon be in the small pasture behind our house with Riverdance and the yearling colt who was just recently gelded.

Part Three of Bunny's Saga
Click on Bunny for Part 3

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