Bucky is owned and loved by David and Nancy Brickey. They have had the honor of owning him for the last five years. His personality is unique, he’s the most easy-going and loving horse I’ve ever met! In August of 2008 Bucky was on a trail ride vacation and during the evenings he was secured to a picket line. A picket line is one rope tied very tightly high in the air between two trees. A lead rope is then tied to the picket line securing the horse. When Nancy and Dave went outside in the morning, to their horrified eyes, they found poor Bucky hanging upside down by his back foot and head. He apparently went to scratch his head with his back foot, got his foot caught and went down, hanging himself. Bucky was immediately cut down and just layed there as if he were dead. They were able to get him to stand up but he was not able to stand for any length of time. His eye was swollen shut, he had rope burn from the halter from one ear to the other and under his chin, his lip was hanging down and was in tremendous pain from the rope burn on his foot. He was a sorry sight. They nursed Bucky as much as they could and located a local veterinarian to assist in antibiotics and pain medication. After three days Bucky was able to stand long enough so that they could transport him the 4 1/2 hours to get him home.
Bucky arrived home and they contacted the Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Susan Lutz responded to the call. The diagnosis was not a good one. Bucky had such a severe rope burn that he was treated extensively with antibiotics for weeks. The fear was that the rope had cut off the circulation to the hoof which meant that he might lose the hoof. Also there was danger of infection, bone infection or laminitis. To their dismay, the hoof did fall off within two weeks after the incident, leaving the coffin bone exposed. The amazing thing is that he just stepped out the hoof like we would walk out of a shoe. Nancy cried the entire weekend thinking Dr. Lutz was going to euthanize Bucky. When Dr. Lutz came out she examined Bucky and said “he’s eating, drinking, walking, happy and not in any apparent discomfort so I won’t put him down, but it still is not good.” Not bearing to part with Bucky and his wonderful personality, they did everything they could to make his life comfortable. They made him a boot that enabled him to walk around and keep the dressings clean. In all honesty, you never saw him look as if he were in pain, he stood and walked and was never in distress.
Unfortunately, six weeks later he lost the coffin bone which was the end of any hope that Bucky would ever grow back his hoof. He was put back on antibiotics and again he did not appear to be in major pain. Dr. Susan Lutz who was a complete godsend has put alot of time and effort in doing everything she could to help Bucky. She came over to the house weekly, x-rayed him and checked him over. Each time she left in disbelief saying it’s amazing that he doesn’t seem to really be bothered by the missing hoof. In her words, the odds of a horse surviving this kind of trauma is close to impossible, most horses would have just laid down and given up. Part of what saved him from laminitis was the fact the he likes to take morning, afternoon and evening naps lying down. The fact that he has fought to survive is a miracle. Dr. Lutz honestly didn’t think he’d survive past Christmas.
Nancy and Dave would spend a half hour, three times a day soaking the foot and dressing it. Unbelievably, Bucky just stands there and lets them do whatever it is they need to do. He is just amazing, most horses would not tolerate all that Bucky has been through. He never tried to kick while they worked on him even if they hurt him. At one point, he had to have the shots in his buttocks since his neck got so sore that the antibiotics wouldn’t go through the needle or the medicine would run back out of his neck. He didn’t care for that but he tolerated it. They cleaned and dressed it constantly. They applied a medicine called Equaide to help with infection, promote new skin growth and to avoid developing proud flesh. He even allowed Nancy to pull his shoes and trim his feet while he was taking a nap. He looks like he was sedated or dead on the pictures but he was just being easy-going Bucky.
It has been 11 months since the incident happened and Bucky is doing extremely well. He is still wearing a boot to assist him in walking. He still has to grow new skin around the bottom of the stump. He never developed any infections and he is in tip top shape all around. They have modified the boot several times but no matter what they have tried it still isn’t a perfect solution. Bucky likes to run around in the yard, he rears, kicks, bucks and just likes to have fun. Unfortunately since the boot just isn’t the same as having a hoof, it slips, turns and causes him to re-injure his stump.
They still go out and change his dressings consistently for he produces a serum which has a very foul odor, they completely clean the stump, still use the Equaide to prevent proud flesh, use diapers as padding and have even gone as far as using silicone breasts to help pad the stump. They cover it with a large sock to help keep the diapers in place. They then pad the inside of the boot with foam padding, insert his stump in the boot and a harness made of velcro goes up his leg and is attached to the boot. A half piece of PVC pipe is put on his leg to keep him from tearing everything off and also to keep him from chewing up his socks. Then it is duct taped to keep everything in place. Lots of duct tape! They put a lot of work and effort to make him comfortable and keep his wound clean. I don’t know many people that would have put all their time, effort and money to give this horse a life. Nancy also spends approximately 1-2 hours per day shredding newspapers her friends and neighbors collect for Bucky’s bed. She’s on her third heavy duty paper shredder.
Nancy and Dave have searched all over trying to find someone that could help them with a prosthetic device for Bucky. They weren’t able to find anyone anywhere that was willing to really help them. They did finally find someone but they would have cost them a small fortune for them to assist. Nancy was very lucky because one day she was searching for an amputee gel sock to put over the stump to help aide against damage by the boot. In a miraculous event, she was put in contact with a place called NexStep. She spoke to Rick Milen, a prosthetist for humans, who was very happy to assist. He has been searching for years for an animal that he could help, without any luck. It really was a miracle that they found each other, Mr. Milen is doing everything he can to make a prosthetic device for Bucky. He has taken cast molds of Bucky’s leg and is working closely with Dr. Lutz to design the perfect prosthetic device. Bucky is now wearing a temporary device made by Mr. Milen. Because of the angles and movements and how close to the ground the stump is, it’s real challenge to get a perfect fit but we have the upmost confidence in Mr. Milen.
Bucky is a very unusual case because he is a horse that has a big will to live. Please check out our website to get the whole story of how fascinating this horse and his owner’s really are.

Please check out Bucky’s Website at buckythehorse.webs.com for other pics and must see video.