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Need adive about a pony??Update

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by TMNTCkins, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. TMNTCkins

    TMNTCkins Songster

    We are going to look at a 3 yr old haflinger pony mare. She is a great size knows all the basic but is not trained to ride yet. We need a pony that we can train to do dressage/jumping.
    This little mare is blind in her right eye and was like this when she was born. So she doen't know any different.
    So will her blind eye stop her from being a dressage/jumping horse?
    We have had a blind pony before but she was just to lead the kids on.
    Any advice would be great.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would be leery of an *unbroke* half-sighted horse, especially if it's to be a kid's pony (although, maybe this one isn't for kids, I dunno). Even if the horse is well-adapted to the lack of sight on the one side in its life so far, it is kind of a tossup whether problems will develop when it's backed and trained.

    If the horse is not spooky or crooked, there is not necessarily any reason it can't be a perfectly good dressage mount (although IME one eyed horses can be a lot harder to supple and straighten, b/c they often get used to carrying themselves crooked, moreso than normally sighted horses). Certainly there are any number of good one-eyed dressage horses out there, although they tend usually to be horses who lost sight *after* becoming fairly well trained.

    Jumping is iffier. Even for horses that were very experienced hunters/jumpers/eventers before losing the use of an eye, many are not as confident or safe thereafter, and it is questionable how safe it is to jump a one-eyed horse at speed (e.g. cross country) or large fences, even if they have lots of mileage in the sport. I dunno 'bout the wisdom of trying to *start* a one-eyed horse over fences, at least not for more than just popping over logs and crossrails type of thing... I have never done it, and am quite willing to believe that an extremely level headed and coordinated horse could learn to jump with only one eye and be reasonably safe over modest fences; BUT not all horses are like that and the potential for accidents and/or Scaring The Horse And/Or Rider Pretty Badly is much higher if only one eye is working.

    I guess, to me, I would not consider buying a one-eyed horse as a prospect for any sport that involved jumping (perhaps you are considering eventing?), and an unbroke one eyed horse would be a bit of a gamble for any flat riding either. Certainly you'd want to assure yourself that the horse is absolutely dead-level-headed and natural-born bombproof, and does not move crooked (head cocked, neck carried to one side, leaning on one shoulder, that sort of thing)

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think Pat pretty much said it all. I would probably think twice about buying a one eyed horse as a jumper prospect. She may end up being a great jumper, but even jumping on a two eyed horse is dangerous. Jumping on a one-eyed horse will increase the chance of injury for both horse and rider. I know jumping a one-eyed horse would probably cause me to lose some confidence while riding and that could cause problems for the horse too.

    However, she could probably be a wonderful riding horse and possibly even a decent low level dressage horse, but it would be difficult to tell until you start working with her. However, if she's pretty level headed and not spooky, you could always use her as a driving horse! You partially blind them anyways while riding and I've found halflingers to make awesome driving ponies.
  4. allison finch

    allison finch Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Chapel Hill, NC
    While I have known some excellent one eyed jumpers and even event horses, it is very difficult for them when approaching a jump on their poor side. A quick turn to a jump on their blind side can be very problematic. Since you are looking for a child's pony, I'm afraid I would keep looking. There are many good kids ponies out there. I even see good possibles on craigslist.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I should clarify that I have known, and even ridden a couple, one-eyed hunters/eventers/jumpers. However, every single one of them was well established over fences before losing the use of the bad eye. Which is different, and much easier, than having the horse *never* have the benefit of two eyes when learning to jump.

  6. TMNTCkins

    TMNTCkins Songster

    Thanks for all your imput. My daughter manily rides dressage but they have been jumping for fun at the end of there lesson. I think if we were looking for a trail pony or a driving pony she would be great but were not. Thanks for helping me make up my mind. You know when you know in the back of your mind you should say no but your heart wants to help this cute little pony. It's so hard to say no but that is what we did.
  7. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I think you're making a good decision. It doesn't make sense to have one strike against you in a competitive event before you've even started. Equally you don't want to get stuck with an unsellable horse if it doesn't work out.

    My FIL seems to have particularly bad luck with horses and eyes. He has had three lose an eye in the past few years. Two were to a mountain lion, a third was to a cactus. One of the lion victims was insane, DH thought he had post traumatic stress! He would absolutely freak out and not think, and was really quite dangerous to be around. He would run straight into people. He ended up dying of mysterious causes as a 3yr old, I wouldn't be surprised if he had heart failure. The second was also a colt at the time. He turns his head all the way around to look at you if you are on his blind side. He was broke to ride after the attack, and for the most part is a normal horse. He does buck though, but who knows whether he would have done anyway. The main problem is that he's surplus to requirements here, and nobody wants to buy a one-eyed horse.

    The third is a broodmare that lost her eye this year. She scratched it on a cactus and it had to be removed. She is crazy, and my FIL did consider having her put down as she is so flighty now. ATM she's turned out with her filly, but I don't know what the long term plan is. One worry is that she will run through a fence/

    The main danger seems to be forgetting that the horse is missing an eye and startling it. It's easily done if you're used to being around two-eyed horses! Equally, there are times when you just have to be on the bad side.

  8. TMNTCkins

    TMNTCkins Songster

    Quote:Your are very right. Dressage is a very competitive sport and if this is what she wants to do than we need to find the right horse. It would be very easy for a kid to forget that there horse can not see out of both eyes and bottom line is that I DO NOT want her to get hurt.
    Thank Again
  9. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    I have a 26 year old AQHA QH mare who lost her Right eye when she was 18. She gets around fine, you'd never know by riding her that she is missing an eye. As soon as she got home from the Vet Hospital she was running around like a nut! I jump her and canter/gallop withn her all the time, she has never tripped once. She is more sure footed than any 2 eyed horse. I say go for it, with the right training she could be a star! Also horses that are blind in one eye come to trust you more and develop a special bond with you. [​IMG]



    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  10. TMNTCkins

    TMNTCkins Songster

    We went and looked at this mare yesterday. She is very pretty and very sweet. She is not totaly blind in her right but it is a white/blue color. This man was supose to be a rescue. He say's the owner brought the horse to him but he did not ask any questions as to what had happened to her eye. Well her eye is the least of her problems. She does not move well. Very stiff and short on her left hind. Her hooves were horrible and she did not walk well on the lead. Someone had to walk behind her to get her to move (the ad says halter broke, trailers and stands good for trims).
    We got out of the truck and walked over to her pen he said "well what do you think, not bad for $100.00". I told him that I would like to see her move around a bit and he said "why". So I asked him is she was trailer broke and he said "well she got here in a trailer". I tried to mess with her hooves. She would let me pull them up but she did not pick them up. She was not happy and moved alot when I picked up her left hind.
    So I told him I would have to think about it but that she didn't move right on her left hind and he said "how does a three year old horse that has never been touched have a messed up leg? So I said "I don't know but how did her eye and her leg get hurt? So we left.
    When I got home I emailed him back and said that I would be willing to take her on a trial run for two weeks at my cost and he said that he had her hooves trimmed and that she must of stepped on something to make her sore but she is fine now.
    Wish I could help this mare but the man is a creep and all he wants is his money.

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