Rehabbing Funny Bunny B’s Injury: Rehab Stressors

“I feel like the meme of the girl and guy laying in bed thinking two totally different things. I’m thinking, ‘How’s the tendon healing? Will Buns make a full recovery? Will we be shooting partners again?’ Buns is probably thinking, ‘Wonder when my next meal is.'”

Photo by KD Gowins Photography.

If you’ve been following the series about Funny Bunny B’s complex injury, you know he’s been on a long road to recovery. If you haven’t had the chance to read about the nightmare, here’s a recap: On October 7, 2019, Funny Bunny B (Buns) sustained an injury to his right hind leg. He has a fracture, torn tendon and soft tissue damage.

On his journey to recovery I, along with In Stable Hands, have faced many challenges and educational topics that I have been sharing. We’ve faced and discussed proud flesh, the fracture, the tendon damage and maintaining a healthy weight. I’ve discussed a particular day where Buns decided it was a good idea to jump the round pen and pull down his stall front in a 24 hour period and kept viewers up to date on vet check ups.

In the last article,  I told you the reasons why I have gone through such extensive care with Buns, rather than thinking about the option of putting him down. This time around we’re going to discuss the frustrations of having an injured horse. Some of the points that run through my head are lighter while others are more serious. Nonetheless, they’ve crossed my mind.

Overall, the rehabilitation process is frustrating but one intervention in particular really stresses me out — hand walking. Have you ever hand walked a stall-ridden, 1000 pound animal? I will have you know, it’s unsettling. Hand walking Buns was like opening a can of freshly shaken soda — as soon as pop the top, it explodes everywhere.

Within minutes of getting outside, Buns was everywhere. He’d buck, rear and trot in hand all while squealing with excitement while I was at the other end of the lead line, one second away from crapping my pants. Then, without hesitation, he’d drop to the ground and roll around for a solid five minutes.

I was unsure if I was close to defecating myself because he was one, so wild he was going to hurt me or two, he was so wild he was going to hurt himself. Which brings me to my next stressor, lameness. Surprisingly, throughout this very overwhelming process, Buns was only lame for the first month or so, and even then, the lameness rapidly decreased.

Buns has rolled around on the ground, walked, trotted, cantered, jumped the round pen, bucked, reared and pulled down his stall front, and through all of this, has not taken a lame step. It stresses me out because I anticipate a call the next day that he’s lame. It also frustrates me because if he can do all these fancy maneuvers without showing any signs of weakness the next day, is he really THAT injured (I know he is THAT injured, but he sure doesn’t act like it).

This brings me to my next stressor, will Buns make a full recovery? When he participates in his crazy shenanigans I have no doubt that he’ll be back to full capacity in no time. But then the reality of it all and the conversations with the vet also cross my mind.

Many discussions have been had in regards to Buns’ recovery and the reality of it is, we can’t be certain until we try. If Buns continues to heal at the rate he’s going, there’s hope that light riding will start to be incorporated into his rehab program at the end of April. But that may be as far as it goes for the remainder of Buns’ career.

There’s some uncertainty if Buns will be able to handle the twists and turns of the mounted shooting patterns with the extent of the damage from his injury, but there’s also a significant amount of hope that he’ll make a full recovery.

The outcome could go either way, which leads me to my next stressor: Why in the world is the recovery taking so long? Looking at it from a medical standpoint, as a registered nurse, I totally understand why it is taking so long. From a horse owner who misses riding her horse, it feels like this process is really taking its good ole time.

The amount of time this process has taken gives my mind plenty of time to wander. Is the wound healing okay on the inside? How’s the tendon healing? Are the medications working? Will Buns have good quality of life from this point forward? How many other horse owners have gone through similar situations and have had a positive outcome?

This brings me to my last stressor: Am I doing enough? I want to do everything correctly and use every intervention I possibly can to provide Buns with the best possible chance of making a full recovery. I am constantly asking myself, “What more can I do for him?” My weekly screen time on my phone has increased most likely because I spend a significant amount of time searching for research on similar injuries, best practices and new interventions I can incorporate to aid in the healing process.

I feel like the meme of the girl and guy laying in bed thinking two totally different things. I’m thinking, “How’s the tendon healing? Will Buns make a full recovery? Will we be shooting partners again?” Buns is probably thinking, “Wonder when my next meal is.” Come spring, we’ll get a better idea of whether or not my worrying can ease up a bit or if the unhealthy obsession over Buns’ condition will continue.