Newly Blind Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-02-2010, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Newly Blind Horse

My 13 year old appendix is now blind, suddenly, competely, and permanently. I am looking for any information about how to help him adjust, training, or helpful advice. He seems to be adjusting okay, we're taking it day by day. Thank you!
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-02-2010, 03:09 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
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My best advice, make sure he is in a familiar place, and check it for hazards frequently.

What did you do with this horse?

Learning never stops
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-15-2010, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: high desert so cal
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just make sure u talk to him when u come out and see him and spend time with him im sure u already have his stall pasture or whatever u have him in free of anything that will hurt him
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-15-2010, 06:38 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2009
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In pastures, try to put a different footing (like woodchips) around obstacles, for example a fence or water trough. And maybe get him a companion.

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-15-2010, 09:27 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
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I have one that went blind suddenly about a year ago. He has adjusted very well, but it's been a tough road. When I am leading him to and from the pasture, I always keep a bit of tension on the lead rope. I don't do this with my others, but with him it's important because he needs to know you are there guiding him. You have to watch footing for both yourself and him. You can't let your attention wander when you are handling him. I use key words when the ground is going to change. At first he would stumble a lot, but now he picks his footing very carefully when I cue him. I have even gotten to the point that I can ride my boy again, but that is a whole other thing not to be worried about at first.

Remember he will bump into everything, and things that were never a problem before can be now, even a corner post or a bucket in a stall can be dangerous until he learns how to handle it. You can't pad or clear out everything, just do the best you can. As far as turnout, he will do best if he has a calm pasture mate, that doesn't mind being bumped into or accidentally run over. Mine is fortunate enough to have two, so if I need to pull one of them, he isn't alone. Try not to move anything he is accustomed to, like his water source, and have a particular place you give hay, if you feed hay outside, so he will be able to find things easily. And more than likely, he will be very stressed out for a while, so don't be surprised if he drops weight. Once he gets his other senses working for him better, and begins to feel secure in his environment that will improve, but watch him closely so that you can do what you need not to let him get in bad shape during the process.

And this is the hard part to think about. Not all horses can make this transition when it's sudden like this. Some will also hurt themselves pretty badly just trying to get around. Hope for the best, do everything you can for him, but prepare yourself just in case something goes wrong. Best of luck! Glad you aren't giving up on him!

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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