Should I buy a horse that's blind in one eye? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-08-2011, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Should I buy a horse that's blind in one eye?

Looking on craigslist today, saw a beautiful mare brown horse but the owner said she is blind in one eye but rides great and that doesnt hinder her. Should I take that chance? What are the negatives or possible troubles down the road? They want $300 for her but I might can talk them down to $150
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 09:52 AM
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NO! Kinda like buying a car that only steers to the left - you can't make any right hand turns. Would kind of limit what you can do. If you want to love it and pet it and name it George, buy it. But if you want to ride it, find one with two good eyes.
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 10:08 AM
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Being blind in one eye doesn't affect a lot of horses - they cope very well. However, some horses need to see things well with their good eye, so you may have to "show" her things more thoroughly.
What do you want to do with the horse?
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 10:46 AM
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If you are serious about riding, you could get in trouble. Jumping, riding trails, and riding on the flat could prove to be dangerous. He can't help not being able to take care of you if he is blind. He may fall and get you hurt. He sounds like a good companion horse or maybe a horse to ride in an arena on occasion. Also, why is he blind? Does he have cancer or something that will be expensive to take care of? There are a lot of nice horses out there that need homes. If you take him on, I would look at it like a charity case. In his defense, my sister was given a blind horse several years back. He was fun to ride just so you didn't take him out into new territory. She eventually gave him to a young girl who enjoyed him tremendously. I would just be afraid that he would trip and fall.
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post #5 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 10:56 AM
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Blind in one eye, not completely blind...
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 12:03 PM
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When I was asking the same question a while back the majority of people said go for it. If the horse has been blind in one eye for a long time then she will have adapted and it will not cause her a lot of issues. You also want to know if she was blinded by an accident or if there is any underlying medical condition.

You need to make sure that you warn her verbally if you approach her from the blind side and just remember that she has areas where you could surprise her.

It certainly isn't like buying a car that can only turn one way, and she can certainly be more than a pasture pet. As ever the best thing to do is to go and see her, ride her, and work with her on the ground, if everything else is perfect then go for it
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 12:41 PM
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There is very little, if anything, a horse blind in one eye can't do that a horse with two good eyes can. Corneal ulcers are common in horses and and as a result a lot of horses are blind in one eye. The biggest issue with them is they can be a bit jumpy because they have that blind side, and on the trail you have to give them enough freedom to turn their head to the blind side to see. As far as having problems with flat work, my goodness, what do you think blinders do?

As said, I would definitely want to know why the horse lost sight in the eye to know if there was some underlying issue...
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 12:44 PM
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I've known quite a few people who have ridden, owned, and shown horses that were blind in one eye with no issues. It really can make a strong bond between horse and rider since the trust forms so deeply. And as stated above, if the horse has had the blindness for some time they learn to adapt just as anyone else would. Go check the horse out, take it for a ride, and go from there.

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post #9 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 01:41 PM
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I have ridden one-eyed horses and the only difference you'll notice is that they carry their head slightly to the side to put the good eye forward. It's also more considerate to approach on the side of the good eye, you can startle them easily coming up on the blind side.

I've known a couple of one-eyed foxhunters who still did their job extremely well; including jumping difficult fences, and my old pleasure horse went blind in one eye from glacouma and still trail rode and did gymkhana and mounted games.

If they horse was made and well-schooled in this discipline before he lost the eye, there's really not an issue.

Celeste and Production Acres, I have to ask - do you have any experience with one-eyed horses? Or are you drawing inferences and conclusions without benefit of first hand experience?

Last edited by maura; 07-09-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-09-2011, 02:09 PM
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My sister had a one-eyed horse. He lost the other to cancer. He was a great horse as far as his willingness and gaits. He would go with his head pointing to the side so that he could see where he was going. He seemed to have trouble figuring exactly where things were and tripped on occasion. She gave him to a kid that enjoyed him a lot riding him around the barn. She was in to trail riding, and he tended to trip in unfamiliar areas. She lives in the mountains and tripping is dangerous there.
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