Smokey is 20 years old, born March 5, 1988. I was fortunate enough to come into his life and purchase him in January 1989. The first two years were a bit rough, being that he was bred to be a racehorse, and I was 12 years old!
For a few years, Smokey had problems with his left eye and we knew that a cataract was developing (he was approximately the 13th foal out of his dam and I think several of his health problems can likely be traced back to his dam being over-bred). The right eye was also developing a cataract, but much more rapidly and we were unaware of this until the day I threw hay for him and he was unable to find it. What a shock! That eye had been healthy as far as we knew. He was 8 years old when he lost complete eyesight.
Smokey and I already had a great bond, but it only got stronger after his blindness. His personality has not changed, though his fight/flight instinct is not as strong now. I just took him to another Trail Challenge this past weekend. My 20 year old blind horse with a barrage of health problems was the spunkiest horse on the grounds! ...and I was so proud of him for feeling that way!
Thank you everyone for your very kind words and enjoying Smokey's videos. If more people understand that a blind horse is not worthless, I am happy.