Bucks for Buck

Buck, a black gelding, running in te pasture.
Buck in his happy place: running in the pasture with his herd. Today he’s on stall rest and NOT HAPPY about it.

When you come Turning Point Ranch, the first horse to the fence to say, “Howdy!” is usually Buck.  He loves people and is always ready for attention. And treats!

Buck with his head over the fence.
That big white blaze makes him easy to spot!

Buck – that’s short for Buckaroo – is a beautiful solid black paint with a big blaze. He has been on loan to Turning Point for EIGHT YEARS from John and Caryl Talley !  That’s quite a long time for a horse to be fully invested in serving therapeutic riders. Buck can work with beginning or advanced riders to work through challenges.

Here’s Buck in 2014 with Kenzie and one of his favorite riders, Bianca. He loves photos with his riders!

He’s helped dozens of children over the past eight years accomplish what others said wasn’t possible.  That’s because Buck is magic. And he’s irreplaceable to those who love him.

Here’s where Buck needs your help. In August of 2018, Buck came up lame.  And, in Buck fashion, he came up REALLY lame. We like to call him “Go Big or Go Home Buck.”

He liked the fresh shavings and snazzy turquoise tape on his hoof, but he was lonely for his friends and in pain.

This time, Buck was in too much pain to go anywhere.  The OSU vet team came to the Ranch to take outdoor x-rays, give him something for the pain, soak his hoof and bandage him.  Once the pain medication took effect, Turning Point staff were able to load him in the trailer and get him to the OSU Vet Hospital.  

Buck is such a great patient that he even helped Dr. Fermi with his notes.

The x-rays were questionable, so he spent an entire week at the hospital and was eventually treated for an abnormal abscess. That one trip cost more than Turning Point’s annual vet budget.

Buc being soaked
Fortunately, he’s had a loyal care team of volunteers like Sarah Dorman.

Buck came home to stall rest at Turning Point for a few weeks – volunteers soaking and wrapping his hoof so that the abscess could drain and heal properly.  Buck hated being away from his herd, but he LOVED all of the attention and affection from staff and volunteers. He was released back to the pasture and was fine for a week until he wasn’t.  

We wondered if he just wanted to see his favorite OSU Vet Dr Nagle


Or if he thinks he looks especially good in the OSU Orange and Black stocks. (He does)

More x-rays.  More abnormality.  More abscess. More stall rest.  More soaking & bandaging. After a few weeks, Buck was fitted for a specialized shoe with compression molding and was released back out into the pasture with his herd.  He was fine for a week or so and then came up lame AGAIN.

More x-rays.  More abnormality.  No abscess. More stall rest.  More soaking & bandaging. No relief!  More medical bills.

OSU veterinarians worked hard to discern what in the world was going on with Buck and, keeping our blown budget in mind, gave us 3 options to determine if Buck could continue as a therapy horse.

He even got to try a new Lameness Locator that looked alot like a party hat but helped indicate the source of his problem.

In January, Buck went back in to the hospital for a CT scan and surgery.  Somehow, Go Big or Go Home Buck had a monster, abnormal HARD abscess in his hoof, pressing against his coffin bone, making it resorb.  The surgeons and doctors were able to get it all out and the unhealthy bone that was damaged by it. Finally! Pain relief and hope for the future.

It takes a big team to change shavings and bandages and soak his hoof and keep his spirits up.

So, after another costly hospital stay, Buck is back on stall rest – again – being bandaged and spoiled rotten.  He has to have very close attention from staff and volunteers because he has a hole in his hoof that you can pass a magic marker through – from the top through the bottom.  So now we wait for that hole to grow out with the rest of his hoof. Which will probably take a good 4 more months… of stall rest or restlessness in Buck’s case..

In all, Buck has spent over 200 days on stall rest since August.  It literally takes a village to not only keep him fed and in clean shavings, but also to make sure that he is emotionally sound.  He is taken out to hand graze every day and has a couple of SideKicks who come out each week to groom and pamper him. He’s visited by the other horses at feed time every day and occasionally one of his herdmates stays overnight in the barn with him.  Luckily, we have an open barn and he can see his herd from his stall.

As expected, we have gone through tons of bedding and materials for his wrap:  duct tape, diapers, vet wrap , betadine and elasticon. This and those vet bills have really added up to a hefty sum.  

That’s why we’re looking for “Bucks for Buck” to carry this irreplaceable horse through another four months of care. We are dedicated to his total health so that he can get to back in doing what he loves most…serving, challenging, supporting and playing with the kids….and his horse buddies in the pasture.