Blind Horses - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 37 Old 11-06-2013, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Reggie has never been a spooky horse, until he started to lose his vision. When his vision started to go he was like a lite powder keg but now he is the most reliable horse that I've ever rode.
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post #32 of 37 Old 11-06-2013, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
I have heard (no first hand experience,) and it makes sense, that they are most spooky when loosing eyesight. They can see shapes and shadows and movement but not enough to be relaxed, almost like riding in dusky light. When they are completely blind they don't have that to be spooky about. They may listen more and be more sensitive but I haven't heard of more spooky though it is possible and depends on the environment too, and if riding depends on the rider (trust).

A lot of horses who lose eyesight are older and have more experience and less spooky naturally. Most horses adjust very well and most of those can still be ridden and do most normal things. You will need to adjust their environment and be careful not to change things on them and approach them correctly (don't sneak up etc). Some horses do not adjust and cannot handle it, or handle it but are miserable and unable to act the way they used to, these horses will need to be put down.
Sadly, this was the case with my beloved mare T. Under saddle she was as reliable as always, though you could feel the change in her, from relaxed to hyper-vigilant. After the second time of running through the paddock fencing, and always around 4 am, I couldn't take the risk of her seriously injuring herself, or God forbid, ending up in the road and killing herself and anyone else.

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Reggie has never been a spooky horse, until he started to lose his vision. When his vision started to go he was like a lite powder keg but now he is the most reliable horse that I've ever rode.
How long before he adjusted and did you have to change anything in the way of how you kept him (like fencing ect)?

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 #33 of 37 Old 11-06-2013, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Not really, just switched the electric fence to a wood fence and rounded the corners. So that way he doesn't get stuck and won't get shocked if he walks into it. Do you mean between the time he was losing vision and lost it entirely? When I was handling him I would put a pair of modified blinders on him to help him calm down, which worked. While he was wearing these I would sometimes put him in his pasture to get used to getting around without his sight, though I was there watching. By the time his vision was gone it took him about two days to get used to things, I also talk to him more now.
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post #34 of 37 Old 11-06-2013, 06:17 PM
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So when he lost all his vision, it took him about 2 days to adjust?

If this is correct, it actually comforts me as my girl , after several weeks, seemed to only get worse. I still feel guilt over it all. Second guessing everything I did, or didn't do. I suppose I always will, but that is the nature of the beast so to speak.

So glad things have worked out for your boy and you. May you both have many happy adventures together.

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 #35 of 37 Old 11-06-2013, 11:09 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your mare walkamile. Sounds like she just couldn't handle it and you did what you had to for her sake.
Did she have any buddy's? I've heard about putting a bell on the halter, it may be comforting to some horses.
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post #36 of 37 Old 11-07-2013, 07:26 AM
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Thank you Yogiwick. I tried everything you can image. My vet, who was very encouraging and supportive of allowing her to show us what would be best, since most horses do adjust to blindness, helped me by supporting the decision when it was very apparent she was not adjusting.

We both feel that perhaps the pain, that we couldn't keep at bay, (her eru was especially aggressive) and the frustration was destroying her mind.

During those several weeks I did witness some amazing communication between she and Walka. It was actually humbling to witness. They are amazing creatures.
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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 #37 of 37 Old 11-07-2013, 12:06 PM
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There's this movie from Hallmark... uhh.. Long Shot (I think) where a fancy dressage horse goes blind and stuff. It's an interesting movie for anyone who can stomach the idea of watching a possibly bad rider. :P

Good on you for keeping your guy happy, active and loved even if he did go blind. Enjoy your relationship with him, because it sounds like you have "the bond" that most people originally want out of their horses. :)

The path is different for you and me, but the journey begins in the heart.
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