Equusite.com > Safety Topics > Blind Equines

Blind Equines
WRITTEN BY: Blind Equines - Information and Support

This article is a couple of years old and we are working on bringing up to date information on this subject to Equusite in the near future. The Blind Equine Website seems to be gone so I am including a link to
Eye Care for Animals.com to help.
Here is a Blind Horse Discussion Group that should be useful for anyone trying to help a blind horse.

The site is "Blind Equines - Information and Support". It's a place for the owners of blind equines (horses, mules, donkeys, hinnies) to find information on the myriad causes of equine blindness. But more than that, it's a place for those owners to find support to encourage them in the most rewarding undertaking of their lives.

The site came about after a chat I had with a woman who owns a pregnant mare who is going blind. This woman was confused, frustrated, and scared. She had been unintentionally misled by well-meaning horse people who obviously had little or no experience with blind equines. She was so confused that she was prepared to give the mare away. Thank heaven I was able to convince her that she should keep her.

Following that chat, I started doing research for information on blind equines. I spent several days surfing for the info I needed. I found lots of technical info on the myriad causes of equine blindness, but found no practical info on caring for blind equines. I was astounded. Until then, I had been convinced that surfers could find anything on the Net. Thus the idea for the Blind Equines site was born.

Blind POA Mare
Above: Pima, The Author's Blind POA Mare © Blind Horses Website

I've owned a blind POA mare for several years. She was given to us by a very dear friend. The mare had just been given to my friend by the man who originally owned her. My friend needed to reduce her herd, but was extremely concerned about finding a home for the mare. She was prepared to have the mare euthanized rather than risk her going to a home where she would not receive the proper care. I convinced her to allow the mare to come live with us. It's the best decision I've ever made!

Before we got the mare, the man who owned her had kept her in a stall. It appears that one day while in a wood-fenced corral, the mare had run into a utility pole inside the fence. She was stunned but uninjured. He thought he was protecting her by putting her in a stall. When she came to us, she had been in a stall for more than 2 years; and I mean she hadn't been outside the stall door in all that time.

Within 2 weeks of her arrival, she was out on polywire-fenced pasture 24/7. To this day, she prefers being outside and seldom seeks shelter, even in bad weather. She would prefer being fed outside too. I can't really say I blame her! She learns her boundaries quickly and flies all over the pasture without touching the fence. She maneuvers through woods and around or over obstacles (creeks, ditches, large rocks, trees) in the pasture with no problems. She wallows in mud and plays in the creek. She's fascinating to watch. The mare's story is on the Blind Equines web site.

The most important thing that any blind equine owner can remember is that A BLIND HORSE IS STILL JUST A HORSE. Having a blind equine around requires a few special precautions and a lot of common sense. I was amazed to find out how many horse people believe that a blind equine has out-lived its usefulness and should be put down. That couldn't be further from the truth! There are stories on the Blind Equines site from other owners of blind equines. Their blind equines are useful, vital members of their families.

Our blind mare has brought us so much joy. She has showed my family the meaning of total trust. She is independent and loving. She stands her ground in the herd (and at one point she was in a herd of 15). Her other senses are heightened to the point where we have to remind ourselves that she's blind. The only reason she isn't ridden is that both my daughters are too big to ride her.

Visit the Blind Equines web site. Read the stories. Check out the section on the basics of caring for a blind equine. Check out the hints and tips for providing your blind equine with a safe environment. But most of all, don't let anyone convince you that a blind equine doesn't have the right to enjoy life!

All content on this website is Copyrighted © 1997-2002, Cheryl McNamee-Sutor,
unless otherwise noted on individual pages or images on this site. All Rights Reserved.
This article: Copyright © Blind Equines Information and Support. All Rights Reserved.