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him, and before long, it was a game to see if he could catch it as it rolled by him. He would line up with me, put his head down, and really focus on that carrot! He still remembers how to play and we still play on occasion. I tried to play it with Caillie once, but she just isn’t interested like he is.” After about a month and a half, Caruso was healthy

enough to have Caillie come home. The reunion was full of snorts and squeals, but within five minutes, mother and son were grazing happily side by side. After Caillie’s return, Caruso continued to improve steadily. “It was months before he was himself again,” Judy

recalls. “He recovered steadily though. By spring, we were starting to work him lightly again. I was riding him regularly in the summer.” During the summer of 2008 after his illness, Caruso

even attended a small schooling show. He brought home the blue ribbon in Training level Test 1 with a 60.8%.

Caruso poses with his owner/breeder Judy Annett.

NEVER SAY NEVER

“I just never thought it would happen again. But it

happened again in November 2008. And then in March and again in April this year.” Despite the fact that Caruso had made a miraculous

recovery from salmonella poisoning, he has returned to Michigan State three times. The problem this time? Severe reflux, a dangerous problem in which the contents of a horse’s stomach cannot pass into the small intestine and is forced out their nose instead. All three times he appeared to colic until he arrived at MSU where the vets would pass a nasal tube, empty his stomach, and generally keep him overnight for observation. “They’re still trying to figure out what causes it,” Judy

explains. “His intestines were severely compromised that first December with the salmonella, so they think that the problem probably lies in that region. He’s been scoped and the last time, in April, he had laparoscopic surgery. If it happens again, the next step is to cut him open and I don’t want to do that to him.” After Caruso returned from his April stay at

MSU, Judy’s veterinarian recommended that she try putting him on SUCCEED, a supplement to aid in the horse’s digestive health. Thankfully, the SUCCEED seems to be working at the present, as Caruso has yet to have another colicky episode.

LOOKING AHEAD

“He looks so great right now,” Judy says happily.

“He’s coming along fabulously. His trainer, Beth Kuhn, is probably going to put him in a schooling show this summer or fall and we’ll see how he does. He’s currently schooling second level movements, and Beth is even starting to plant the ‘piaffe’ seed in his mind. It sounds silly, but as I sit there watching Beth ride him, I get all choked up.” Judy’s ultimate goal for Caruso is still to have him be her future dressage mount. Now, at age eight, he is finally in a position to fulfill his owner’s wishes. “Things are looking up,” Judy exclaims. “I don’t get overconfident about him never getting sick again, but he’s in a good place right now. I’m so thankful that he’s made it this far. Let’s see what the future holds.”

WT

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