I’d like to take a moment to tell you about a brave little horse.
My family does animal rescue, and a few years ago my mom and stepdad took in a show horse whose eyesight was failing. His owners preferred to get rid of him rather than seek veterinary help. What my parents got was Colby, an adorable cross of Quarter Horse and Welsh Pony, who was only four years old and with an already bad case of equine uveitis.
Colby has received treatment over the past few years at the veterinary training school at the University of Georgia, but even so, the uveitis took its toll and he has lost his left eye, as you can see in the first picture. We are working hard to maintain his right eye, but it is only a matter of time before he loses it. Probably not even a year.
He has been a trooper through this whole ordeal, and has never been a problem during his treatments, examinations, and having to stay at the vet school when he has particularly bad flare-ups. Never kicks or bites. When he does eventually lose the right eye, our family completely intends to keep him going, if it seems that he can handle it. He has a pasture mate, another rescued horse, and there is a small paddock at my parent’s home that is flat and would be ideal for a blind horse.
If I ever make a horse puppet, it will look like and be named Colby. Perhaps he’ll have a patch over one eye and become Colby, the One-Eyed Wonder Horse. Maybe even a pirate. It would be a warm tribute to such a dear equine friend.
UPDATE: As of June, Colby had his other eye removed. After reading much online about blind horses, we took the chance to let him live instead of putting him down, and I’m so glad we did. He is getting along just fine–we put a small bell on his pasture mate, Flower,and he follows her wherever she goes. Even more fascinating is the change in Flower’s behavior. Normally a very independent horse, she has taken to keeping close to Colby and monitoring where he is. We have witnessed her going and getting him at feeding time, nudging him where he needs to go. It is amazing.