Foster Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Foster Horse

So, I got a phone call today from the lady who owns the horse I'm going to use for 4-H. She said someone had a horse that they wanted her to foster and she was asking me what I thought and if she got it if I would work with her this summer. I said I would. Well, the horse is a 3 y/o Arab filly that she said was really skinny and might have one eye......

so my question is, how do you train a one eyed horse? I know you'll have to take more time because they will probably be more scared at first (especially because I think she said she was abused at one point) I mean, lunging on one side would be weird because she wouldn't be able to see my body language or the whip.....

soo, if anyone has experience with one-eyed horses, I'm very open to it.... I haven't even seen her yet, but will try to get pics as soon as i see her
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 04:52 AM
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I expect the horse will have better hearing and other senses to help compensate for her impaired sight. Perhaps you need to get the horse used to voice commands for lunging rather than body language. THis is one way around it.

Be aware that anything approching the horse from its blind side, including you, could really spook her. Always talk to her when approching so you don't totally freak her out! She may not ever be suitable for beginners because she may have more of a tendency to spook. Or then again, she may be if she has a really calm temperament... You just have to spend time with her and work out what she can and can't do and how she has adapted to her disability.

Sorry the answer is kinda short... i have a band-aid on my left index finger - i slipped when cutting the onion up for tea *ouch*

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 06:39 AM
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I worked with horse blind on one eye. The only problem she had is she was spooky of trees on that side. After 10 mins or so when she realized I'm not gonna drive her in tree she relaxed. You probably will need some time for him to trust you as handler and rider. As long as it's over - he'll be just like normal horse.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 08:22 AM
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I would be cautious but calm around her. I had a friend whos horse had an eye injury (he was 5) and he became very aggresive towards people and other horses.

He used to be a very calm gelding that she showed everywhere and he didnt have a care in in the world. When he became blind in the one eye she did what she could to help him but ended up having to put him down. She is a very kind caring person and It was hard to do but the vet recommened it before he hurt himself more or her (or her kids). He had ran through the fence many times and he couldnt be penned with others because he would constantly bite and kick, basically he was miserable.

I know other horses that have settled just fine with one eye or even almost totally blind. If you take the horse on just take your time with her and expect some struggles (horses are flight or fight animals). Best of Luck!!

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 09:38 AM
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I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with this horse. I have never worked with a horse with one eye, so I don't want to give any bad advice... take it slow, and see how she takes to training. I would love to hear periodic updates

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post #6 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 10:32 AM
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I'm also hear to wish you luck!

I've never worked with a horse that has been fully blind in one eye. I did have a mare that that has limited vision in one eye. She was a very scared mare for the first year and half that I owned her and then she just calmed right down. I didn't do anything different her than I did with my horses.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 11:48 AM
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A one eyed horse will shock you, they can do just as much as a two-eyed, somethigns they do differently, like jumping, they come on at a funny angle but they can do it... a friend of mine had one, he had the cutest name... it was Private Eye....
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 12:01 PM
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DB - my arabian gelding has a cataract (spl?) in his right eye and basically blind from it. He was abused in his younger years so he's is really jumpy to start with. I have to talk to him before I approach him from that side or he spooks really bad. My husband on the other hand has spent alot of time bonding with DB - grooming, talking and building trust etc. I don't know if DB can smell David, tell by the sound of his footsteps or what but he never startles when David walks up to his right side. He just knows. His trust makes him almost not blind if that makes sence.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks for the great advice guys! I'll be sure to talk to her a lot, and get her used to voice commands!
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-19-2008, 01:49 PM
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That's pretty cool, keep us updated on how it goes! Just take it slow with her & I'm sure you'll do fine.

Ride more, worry less.
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