blind in one eye - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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blind in one eye

I have a horse that's going blind in one eye.how much difference can I expect when riding him when it goes completly blind?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 05:36 PM
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It'd be more spookish to the side it's blind on, so you'd have to be even more aware of the surroundings.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 07:28 PM
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I had amare that lost an eye to injury when she was about 20 yrs old. I retired her from riding for quite awhile after she healed. Then I noticed that she started following me to the gate when I would get another horse to ride. She seemed to be depressed when I didn't halter her. One day, I decided to try riding her a little. I saddled her up and rode in the arena that she knew well. I had to be her sight on the blind side. I only rode her for a few minutes and at nothing more than a walk. Over the next few months, I added a little more time to the rides and also started to trot some. We added some easy obstacles (walk over poles, lots of circles, backing an "L", etc) She never spooked when things appeared from the blind side. I even took her to a few fun shows where I rode her in WP, EP and trail. She handled it all just fine. As her age crept from 25 to 30 yrs, her ride time had decreased to only once or twice a week for no longer than 30 minutes. This was due to her age, not her loss of sight. The biggest part to our success is that she trusted me to not get in a situation that she couldn't handle. She trusted me to be her sight on the blind side.

Hope this helps.

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 07:45 PM
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Hello DowntoEarth. I also have a mare that is totally blind in her right eye, and is very compromised in the left. Eventually she will be totally blind.

After she went blind in the right eye, I had to be sure to let her know I was there if coming from the right side (still do but its habit now). I did jump her a few times, but she is pretty steady so it wasn't too bad.

As far as riding her, I do not ride on level ground, no arena. So the first time on the trail, it was not great. She kept misjudging the changing level of the ground and was stumbling. Never did that when she had the sight in that eye, so this was very new for us as her depth perception was affected. I was discouraged after that first ride.

But I learned how to prepare her for the change in footing. After that , she is as steady as ever. Either I am cueing her without realizing it, or she has adjusted to the change.

Much will depend on the nature/temperament of your horse as to how well it will adjust to the blindness. My vets have been very encouraging to me because of the trust this mare has for me. Also, she has Walka to help her feel secure in the field. He amazingly has stepped up to the plate and looks out for her. If something startles her, she looks up and tries to locate him. If he is grazing , she puts her head back down and relaxes. Sometimes if she can't see him with her diminished sight, she will call to him. Bless his heart he will give her a little whinny to let her know he's nearby.

Your horse will let you know what is comfortable for him/her. You may need to approach a few things differently either while it is adjusting, or forever. Like trailer loading , I have to move the center bar (I have a two horse straight load) over so she has more room to enter.

Good luck to you and your horse. T and I are enjoying our time together, until she lets me know she's done with trail riding. When she shows that she is scared and unsure, then I will step back and figure out what is best for her at that stage.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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as of now he is easy to ride and doesnt spook at anything.you can walk up to him from any side,even behind him,and touch him and he doesnt flench.He is over 16 hands and 1300 plus pounds so I hope he stays this calm.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 08:33 PM
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My daughter's barrel horse is blind in one eye, she has been that way for about 10 years when the eye was removed at that time with another owner. Bought her with the missing eye. Left Eye runs barrels and poles like a machine, has no issues with turns into the missing eye. She does trails very well, we have all just made sure to talk to her when coming up on the bad side. This mare is 21 years old
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down2earth1928 View Post
as of now he is easy to ride and doesnt spook at anything.you can walk up to him from any side,even behind him,and touch him and he doesnt flench.He is over 16 hands and 1300 plus pounds so I hope he stays this calm.
Sounds like my girl T's temperament/demeanor. If it's any help to you, my vets told me that a gradual loss of sight is easier for the horse to adjust to. My girls sight in her right eye was abrupt. But she adjusted fine. Matter of fact, you wouldn't know she had no sight in the right eye, and little in the left. Very steady girl. She will be 22 this spring, and according to the vets, should be around 10 - 15 years as she is in excellent health, except for the sight.

I am noticing that the sight in the left appears to be less. She is very unsure when entering her stall, and has almost hit her nose into the wall. But, she moves slower navigating openings, and when going through gates. So far she is still using her head and not panicking.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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vet said its possible that he may have to have the eye removed.How bad does it look with it removed?
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 09:58 PM
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I can't answer that as T has her eye still. Yes I have to take a few special measures at times so she doesn't poke something into it, but all is good.

Would the vet stitch the lids together afterward?

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know if he would or not.thats where I am now.he stuck something in his and now Im treating that.thats why it may end up having to be removed.vet says 50 50 chance of saving the eye.
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