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I have just stumbled on your site and wonder if you may be able to help me. You seem like a very wise person and frankly I am desperate.

Three years ago I took on an ex-polo mare who was completely blind in her left eye from a kick. She is 12 years old. As I am a fairly nervous rider she was perfect for me and together we have ridden in the paddock and on the road verges alongside my growing children on their ponies.

Now that the children are older (8 and 6) we have bought a truck so we can venture further with the horses. Well my mare went nuts in the truck, rearing and kicking down the divisions until she had herself turned enough to see who was beside her. She has not been badly hurt, but I am beginning to think her problems are too great and I can't battle any longer. She is in many ways difficult as I need to approach her in a particular way, always being considerate of her blind side. This is all now automatic for me.

Do you think it will ever be safe to take her in the truck again? I would need to do a lot of remedial work to get her even back in the truck I feel. And then, can I trust her beside another horse? I am fairly traumatised by seeing her panic in the truck and she would no doubt pick up on this.

I considered putting her to a stallion, but of course this requires transporting her.

I appreciate any advice you may have.

- B. in New Zealand


I can identify with your concerns, since I bought my Quarter Horse filly after she had been blinded in her right eye by a combination of illness and reaction to medication. Yes, I do think there is hope for your mare - and so do a couple of friends I consulted in the matter: Nancy and Beth Block. Beth has been showing - and transporting - a partially blind horse with very good results.

Here are a few suggestions that may help:

I hope these suggestions help. With calm patience, I'm confident that you'll be able to do anything with your mare that you could do if she had two good eyes.

Happy Riding!

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