Jan & her horse
"Shady Lady" - 09-01-2014 + 07-19-2015 Photos
When I discovered that my little rescued blue roan mare was
blind in her right eye, I was devastated. I immediately
began to do research on line and found the Blind Horse
Society, who recommended a Guardian mask for Lady. Not only
do we need to protect her blind eye, but we need to provide
the best possible conditions for her healthy eye. Thanks to
Guardian, I feel more hopeful about Lady's future.
She has now enjoyed her pasture mask for three weeks. There
was no adjustment for her at all. I began by taking her for
"dog walks" up in the woods while she wore it so that
branches wouldn't poke at her. Once, she stopped, as if to
look at something. I looked, too, and saw nothing. But I
could tell she "knew." Then I saw them: four large hen
turkeys making their way through the trees. So much for
wondering if she could see well through the mask!
Yesterday the riding mask came, and we had our first
excursion with it. It attaches easily to her bridle, and,
again, she acted as if nothing was different. We rode over
to our neighbor's farm, through the woods, across pasture.
My biggest problem with Lady has been spooking. I have
assumed it is because of her "blind side." But on this ride,
her attention was "straight ahead." Not one single spook.
That is a first. Could it be that the mask works to a degree
like blinkers on the race horses we used to have? She
doesn't seem to be as worried about shadows jumping at her
from the right. This is a major breakthrough.
“It takes a village.” It does, indeed. Thank you, Guardian Mask, for
creating your wonderful eye protection products and for being such a
big part of my horse’s happiness. The Blind Horse Society (My
contact was Steve Smith at
recommended you. My 12-year-old rescue mare is blind in one eye,
probably the result of injury from being hauled from auction to
worse auction, poor nutrition, and being penned up with too many
horses. Having a “sight-challenged” horse has been a new experience
for me. She spooked at everything, was fearful of confinement, and
was in a constant “fright to flight” mode. Now I ride her in the
woods with her Guardian riding mask and watch her relax in the
pasture with her pasture mask. She has gotten her brain organized
and is a happy horse.
Here is her complete program. Her nutritional program
was developed by a wonderful rescue organization, the Horse
Protection Society of North Carolina (http://www.horseprotection.org).
They are always willing to help anyone.
1. Guardian pasture mask on after morning feeding and off after
2. One 6 mg lutein / 20 mg bilberry vitamin capsule and one 25,000
IU beta-carotene capsule in her food, morning and night. [I use
Swanson’s #SW904 and SW008 because of quality and cost.]
3. One scoop of Redmond’s Daily Gold Stress Relief minerals. Scoop
comes with product. (I started with one scoop morning and one at
night for three weeks, and then lowered to one in the morning,
according to the company representative’s suggestion for Lady).
“Gold” is a good term for this product. There has been a dramatic
change in Lady’s mental state and, additionally, hoof health. No
more white line! Website: http://www.redmondequine.com I also
provide Lady free access to the Redmond Rock mineral lick.
4. One tiny scoop of Vita Flex MSM (scoop comes with product) once a
day for this middle aged horse. She is athletic—(She dances in the
pasture like Zenyatta!)--and I want her to stay that way.
5. One-half cup Aloe Vera juice in her food twice a day. I get mine
inexpensively at Walmart.
6. Use a Guardian riding mask when riding. It protects Lady’s eyes
from branches when I’m riding in the woods and protects her from the
sun at other times. I believe that the eye covers work a little like
blinkers because she is not spooky any longer.
7. Learn how a “sight-challenged” horse thinks. When I put her fly
spray on, for example, I show her the bottle and start on her
sighted side. When riding, give your horse a chance to look at the
sounds she hears. Let her turn her head to see and understand. Take
her on “dog-walks” where you ride—good exercise for both! Show her
that you aren’t afraid of turkeys crossing your path, for example,
and that it is fun to explore sights and sounds together—cows
jumping up and running away, goats bounding over to say hello, the
neighbor’s horse trotting through the woods for a fence line
greeting. All of these experiences terrified little Lady. Now I
point them out to her, and it is great fun. (“Bonkers!” was the word
a friend used to describe her in the past). Now she meets and greets
and loves going on the experience. I ride her through all of this
now, but occasionally we still do our dog walks. It is just plain
enjoyable. Bring a few horse treats along for a reward.
8. Finally, play games with your sight-challenged horse. One that
Lady likes is guessing which hand (hold them high and far apart) a
treat is in. It teaches her to think, to use both sides of her head
to “look” for the treat. She loves this game. Another is “hide and
go seek” in the pasture. I see her standing in the shade of a tree
and then I walk to different spots and say, “I wonder
where Lady is!” Finally she can’t stand it and comes out, or I
“discover” her and say, “There’s Lady!” Of course, no matter what,
she always wins by getting a treat. 9. Make sure your treats are
natural and low sugar and small. They only need a tiny token of your
esteem to make the point.
I know it sounds impossible, but they have been instances when this
program has helped restore some sight to these challenged horses. Be
vigilant for six months and see what happens. At the very least,
this program will maximize the health of your horse’s eyes.
9. Make sure your treats are natural
and low sugar and small. Horses only need a tiny token of your
esteem to make the point.
10. I know it sounds impossible, but there have been instances when
this program has helped restore some sight to these challenged
horses. Be vigilant for six months and see what happens. At the very
least, this program will maximize the health of your horse’s eyes.
07-19-2015 Traditional 95% Guardian Mask
"Lady" enjoying the clover
07-19-2015 "The Lady Avenger" Lady
wearing the Traditional 95% Guardian Mask
Thank you so very much for helping horses with eye problems.
Jan, this is wonderful!
I love the list you have compiled here to show precisely what your
regimen is with Lady, and how you are working to help her overcome
the challenges. Thank you so much for the photos too!
The "hide and seek" game is just adorable. The links you have
provided are also going to be a big help to others. Keep
up the amazing work, you are an angel!
Shady Lady is quite a beauty. We're so happy that she is doing
well with the masks. We look forward to hearing about her
progress in the future!
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