Rehabbing Funny Bunny B: Time for a Break

“I have to do what’s best for the both of us and right now, that’s take a break and just focus on us being us.” I know our comeback will be stronger than our setbacks.

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 had a fracture, a severed tendon and soft tissue damage.

On his journey to recovery I, along with In Stable Hands and Buffalo Valley Stables, have faced many challenges and educational topics that I have been sharing. We’ve faced and discussed proud flesh, his 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 readers up to date on vet check ups.

I’ve also discussed the reasons why I have gone through such extensive care with Buns, rather than thinking about the option of putting him down. I’ve been open about the frustrations of having an injured horse and I recognized horses I’ve had the opportunity of riding while Buns has been healing. I’ve also turned to you guys and gals for your opinions and testimonies on the best sport boots on the market.

Over these past several months I kept you all up to date on Buns’s riding regimen. From walking for 15 minutes to now participating in competitions, you guys have followed him through it all. Just when Buns was really coming along and we were ready to start competing, the tables turned and Buns started rehabbing me.

On June 8, 2020, I was in a car accident that totaled my car and wrecked multiple parts of my body. I was in a head-on collision with another vehicle that came in front of me. We collided at the speed of approximately 40 – 45 miles per hour. The airbags deployed, briefly knocking me out — I’m 4’11” so my face and head were in line with the air bag.

The setback did not stop us. Buns aided me in my rehab and is continuing to help me as I am not back to 100% yet. I may have felt defeated and down on myself since the wreck, and that seems to be the most hindering battle currently. but Buns has not disappointed me. He stepped up to the plate for me and I don’t think I’d be as far as I am now in my healing or competition ranking without him.

Photo by Julie Farrar Joyner

My goal for Buns was for him to come back from this injury without any restrictions and a be force to reckon with. He’s shown that goal was a realistic one and one that has been met. He’s planting himself and really digging with his hind end, exhibiting minimal to no signs that he was ever injured.

Since we’ve move up to a level three in mounted shooting, Buns and I have won our class twice. We have put our entire hearts into training this summer and it has paid off. The two of us have traveled from shoot to shoot, weekend after weekend.

Within the past two weeks we made a 12 hour trip to New Hampshire to train with Cara and Jared Penley of Penley Horsemanship to further our progress. The trip was nothing short of amazing. We learned how to fix our most common issues and work better as a team at higher speeds.

So where are we going to go from here? We’re going to take a break.

I dislike talking about my mental health, it’s a difficult subject to discuss, but I know there’s a lot of others out there struggling too, so I’m just going to skim the surface of the issue. Since my car accident, I really haven’t been feeling myself.  It sometimes feels as if my body and my brain aren’t connected, an out of body feeling. Sometimes I feel like every moment of my life is déjà vu. I no longer enjoy the things I usually enjoy and sometimes I feel like I have no idea who I am. I feel depressed. My doctors say that this is a common side effect from a brain injury, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I’ve lost a lot of ambition, motivation and even my faith.

But, I have Buns and he makes me happy.

While we’re not going to completely stop mounted shooting, we’re going to drastically decrease the amount of events we’re attending per month. We’re going to go from shooting every single weekend to going to one, MAYBE two a month. I had huge plans for us to go south every weekend to shoot during the winter but my plans for us have changed. We’ll still practice to keep Buns in shape, but we need to get out and do something that’s going to be beneficial for my mental health right now.

We’re going to trail ride — and we’re going to do it a lot. Getting out into the woods and fields, smelling the fresh air, galloping through high grass always clears my mind and makes me happy. It’s a stress free activity where I can really be in the moment with Buns. I really need more of that right now and Buns enjoys the change in scenery too.

I’m really hoping that this change is the change I need to believe in myself and restore my faith. Buns has worked hard, he deserves this break too. We might go back to mounted shooting in the spring with a whole new outlook on things and a stronger bond than we already have.

I have to do what’s best for the both of us and right now, that’s take a break and just focus on us being us.