The Heart of a Horse

Saving Scimitar Part 3

He's walking -- film clip follows!

Now you can see this whole amazing story is not the wishful thinking of a hopeless optimist
(although it came about because of one--- Bunny AKA Scimitar!!!!)

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Just got a snip of Bunny trotting and then walking Sunday on my web site! Had embedding problems with plug-ins (sounds illegal!) but we shall overcome. If Bunny can overcome his challenges, then I could certainly conquer (or at least reach an amicable agreement) with my computer!

The boy's doing great!!!

PS I had an interesting conversation today with a woman who saw us from the freeway when Bunny was first injured. When she realized I was the horse's mother, she was amazed and happy he was still alive. She asked why I did not put a sign in the pasture that we had moved him closer to the barn anticipating rainy season. I told her about all the horse "experts" who could diagnose what was happening to a horse 300 yards away while driving 70 mph on the adjacent freeway and hopefully looking at the road. They were continually calling the sheriff on us, the "horse sadists," who were hobbling the poor horse down and not feeding him nor letting him get up. The first time the sheriff came out (I was at work those days) and saw that my husband was camping down there day and night, and all the apples, carrots, grain and hay around, he laughed, saying he wished his wife took that good of care of him! It was a pain in the butt. That's why we had to keep a low profile. We know that Bunny had a huge local following, though, and believe me, when his sores completely disappear and he no longer needs the sling at all--- we are going public. She pointed out that many would be happy--- I especially would like the tell the woman and little boy who left the "get well" balloons and wonderful heart-touching note, alas, unsigned.

Here is the footage of Bunny, first trotting and then walking. Because the sling has been lowered so much that it is only really providing emotional support and rarely actual support, it swings from side to side, actually making it more difficult for Bunny to walk a straight line. He has much more balance at the trot, than at the walk; the slower the gait, the more difficult for him. The boy LOVES to go! We are anxiously awaiting the day when he will have the hind end strength and the confidence to eliminate the sling entirely.

You will notice he still has the faint lines from the back butt straps which held him up for so long. We are looking forward to the time when we can leave off that panel permanently-- and not just when he is walking; however, Bunny has sat down a couple of times in order to escape the sling, which could have caused a major setback--- we were very lucky he did not hurt himself. At the rate he is going, he will be on his own very soon!!!


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Bunny walking in Sling

April 23rd Evening!

I no more than FINALLY updated pics with the video of Bunny walking with the sling and now it is obsolete!! He was walking so well tonight, we took a break near the pasture fence so he could nose the other horses. Instead he chose to bend down to eat the grass and had soooo much balance Mark convinced me to unhook the chest piece so that we could let him graze. Well, when he leaned forward, the middle portion slid so far back it was worthless. We tried to back him into it and then Mark convinced me to just take it off while he was preoccupied with the other horses. Worst case, he would sit down on the grass and we'd use the tow truck to raise him. I carefully undid the hooks on one side and let it drop while Mark pulled him gently forward----he walked!!! Wobbly--- but walked!! And me without my camera! Couldn't have filmed and unhooked anyway. Mark yelled at me to go get the camera as he continued to walk Bunny lest he lose his balance--- this was a Kodak moment if there ever was one. Jumped in the car and flew to the house. Battery still charging-- but hey--- just enough for a short one--- DV tape only had 8 minutes left--- no time to dig through old ones deciding what to erase. Got back down just as Bunny collapsed, exhausted. Mark held his head with the halter/lead line so it would not hit hard. He lay there, almost in shock. We praised him and after about 15 minutes, he was rested enough to give it another go. We were just expecting him to have enough energy to just sit up so that we could get the sling under him but he got up ALL THE WAY!!!
I grabbed the camera and started shooting. It was awesome!!! He sat down two more times and finally slumped down into the straw we quickly laid down He even got enough balance to stand in one place comfortably.
I want to write more but am too tired right now. I think it is from all the stress--- worrying about him taking a hard fall again--- but he didn't! Have been trying to get my Firewire to work on this computer for the last hour so that I can lift off some stills without firing up my editing computer and transferring it and I am tooo tired to mess with it further tonight. I'll get pics and maybe even a video up tomorrow.
Bunny rules!!! What an awesome horse!!!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Here are pics taken last night. Wouldn't you know, I didn't have my camera for the magic moment when he first walked! Oh well, I had my hands full anyway.


Bunny's early steps
a boy gets thirsty!
goes right for the carrots
heading for his buddies in pasture
Bunny's early steps
The boy works up a thirst!
Bunny goes straight for the carrots!
heading for buddies in pasture


"Hey guys!" pooped out! "Been a long day!!!" "goodnight!"
"Hey Guys!!!"
Pooped out!
It's been a looong day!
"Good Night!"


Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Bunny is still up and doing VERY well! We let him out of his large paddock during the day and give him his freedom on the part of the ranch by the barn . After being literally cooped up for months, he LOVES it!

I'll continue to update on his progress now and again when he achieves some "milestone;" so far it is just steady progress. He becomes more sure of himself and more balanced with every day.

At this point I would like to thank EVERYONE who gave us suggestions, equipment, support, CARROTS, expertise... but to name everyone would rival Gone with the Wind in length. So many people have helped Bunny. You know who you are and know that all you did was GREATLY appreciated by Bunny, Mark and myself. There are a few thank-you's which I do want to make VERY public, though. A heartfelt thanks to my best friend and mentor, John-Roger, whose inspirational teachings and books (e.g. Loving Each Day, the Spiritual Warrior, etc.) has kept me (and consequently Bunny) going these long challenging months. "And when you meet another challenge, you just say 'Next!' and move on..." I have to admit, there were those times when I said "Enough!" instead, before your teachings sunk in. You also showed me that there is no THERE as in "when I really make it big and get there"---- there is only the journey...

Another big thank-you goes to Charlie Anderson, who invented the sling which enabled Bunny to get back his locomotion, and Dr. Mark Rick and the rest of the Alamo Pintado Vet Clinic staff, who graciously allowed us to borrow theirs! And speaking of vets, Bunny and I are soooo grateful to Dr. Don Warden who saw the unflinchable spirit in Bunny and did not put him down when by all standard vet practices, he "should" have--- and his partner, Dr. Gary Evans -- who also believed in Bunny. A major thanks to Dr. Gary Gordon who gave me hope through it all. He spoke of a steeple chase horse who was down for a year, got up, was reconditioned, and went on to win races! This kept us going through many hard times!

Also a big slurpy horse kiss to Susan Stoltz, founder of Chi Animal Therapeutics, who gave us the AlphaSonic to use which greatly sped up Bunny's healing progress, and to Sharon Callahan of Anaflora whose flower essences and animal communication skills assisted Bunny and let us know better how to help him.I also want to acknowledge Helena Bresk and Christina Alfonso of Enchante body Care Center who spent hours working the Ttouch Therapy of Linda Tellington-Jones and the Neurokinesiological Release techniques of Michel Kaplan on Bunny, as well as administering homeopathics. And also a big thanks to Dr. Karen Hale who worked her horse chiropractic magic on Bunny's vertigo.

A HUGE horse hug to Pete and Karen, without whose tow truck, we would have never been able to make such huge strides with Bunny (literally!) and to Ira and Jesse, who baby-sat many times and were the official carrot feeders and waterers! Jesse was also the "official" liason to Horse Forum. Also hugs to assistant carrot feeders Dan and Helene.

And a hug across the ocean to Annie Lovell in England who sent Reiki healing to Bunny.Then there were Debra and the other massage therapists at Sycamore Hot Springs who were kind to him while he was out in the field initially--- and the anonymous woman and her son who left him get well balloons and prayers and... and .... and... you can see my plight. Now it is starting to sound like Academy Awards night...and we REALLY appreciate the efforts of so many... like Bobby Lieberman who gave me Ttouch techniques to use, and Pat, who donated the corner ties... and ...and... and there I go again.

Oh--- and a last hug to and to Steph and John Teeter who tirelessly give horse riders/owners a forum in which to ask for help and exchange information. Without the support of this wonderful horse community, I'm not sure we would have been so successful.As I said in one of my earlier posts, it may take a village to raise a child, but it has taken an international community to literally raise this horse!God Bless you all!


UPDATE for Bunny November 2003

It has been a long haul with good progress on Bunny's part. Other than a few bruises and cuts from a couple of missteps, the boy has faired all right. Every once in a while he takes what we call his Jerry Lewis steps, but on the average, he is very steady at the trot and usually steady at the canter. The walk is the one where one can tell he is a little unsteady yet. He has finally trusted his balance enough to let us pick up all his feet for the farrier -- a MAJOR breakthrough (as we no longer have the tow truck and sling with which to pick him off the ground)!

After two years recuperation, he is finally strong enough to go in pasture with the other horses. We have tried before but they picked on him--- not letting him eat. Weakest link, I suppose. Order his video or DVD to watch the whole heartwarming story (see below).

UPDATE for Bunny March 2008!

Bunny continues to improve in his gaits every year. Only a trained eye would notice the little weakness in his left fetlock joint (and we are looking for it)

He has been trained under saddle and is pissed that "mom" hasn't taken him to the beach as promised. We moved to an old farmhouse with no horse facilities to speak of (hay barn needs help!) so we had to put up various types of fencing ranging from Horseguard for the calm ones, to no-climb for the pregnant moms and babies, and pipe corral for different needs. As it is an 1875 farmhouse, we have had to paint, put in new flooring, repair things and haul away trash, etc. It is now foaling season so of course there are always things to do now.

Bunny is doing great although he had a little setback a few months ago-- he got dryland distemper. At first we thought  a mare had kicked him in pasture and it was just a hematoma; it was so late in the season -- cold at night so no or very few flies --- yet there was one for sure. We've had the abscess lanced twice and then followed up with antibiotics.  Bunny was upset at being locked in a paddock instead of out in pasture so he went on a hunger strike. Looked like bi-afra so we gave in and let him roam free on the place -- even outside of fenced pasture. He's put on weight now and is happy again. The boy does not know he is a horse and refuses to be treated as one -- no boundaries and he wants to pick through all our hay bales to pick out the flowers in the alfalfa. The bales are a mess yet it is a small price to pay for his health.

Other than the spoiled behavior, he is great and I hope to ride him as soon as we get more settled and our mares all foal out. This perpetual mare watch is exhausting :-) yet Bunny takes his shift. We always find him near the prego/baby pasture, much to the consternation of the moms.

The Movie is now available!!

Click on Bunny below to learn more

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Paso Robles, CA 93451

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