Friday, April 26, 2013

Riding a blind pony.

I think Gus is going blind. I've thought his vision had been getting worse for a while now, but when I was out at the barn yesterday it became apparent that it has deteriorated rapidly. And it's in what I've always considered his "good" eye aka his left eye.

Gus has been dealing with Equine Recurrent Uveitis for years. He's had flare-ups from time to time, but it's always been with his right eye. That eye continually weeps and tears up often. Because of that, and having ERU, Gus basically lives in a fly mask.

Except, something has changed in the last week or two. Gus's left eye is what I'd consider "cataract blue". The pupil has lost all of it's pigmentation and the eye seems especially sensitive to light, way more then usual. In fact, I had noticed a few weeks back when working Gus in the indoor that every once in a while the light would hit his left eye just so and he's have this major fit, throwing his head every which way. It wasn't like I ignored the symptoms, but the episodes happened so few and far in-between. Probably, because I haven't been riding nearly as often as what is typically "normal" for me.

So, Gus has another vet appointment scheduled for next Tuesday. Hopefully Dr. N will figure out what's going on and we can get a treatment plan. I'm hoping that eye meds aren't in the future because there's no way in heck that Gus will tolerate long-term eye drops. No sir. Gus does not do eye drops.

Left Eye

Left Eye 

Right Eye. The green-ness you see to this pupil is due to the flash, I believe. You can't otherwise see any discoloration on this pupil.
Regarding the riding aspect, I did end up riding Gus anyways yesterday. He was a VERY GOOD boy. We lunged for about 30 minutes, working on walk/trot/canter both without and with side reins. Because my balance is basically non-existent, I limit myself to almost exclusively walking when I'm up in the saddle. Less likely to get off balance and meet the ground. That's my reasoning, at least.

We did our normal under-saddle warmup - shoulder stretches followed by 10m half circles. Then we did some walking leg yields and some shoulder-ins. I did try to trot, both directions, but only managed to do 1 20m circle both directions before calling it quits. This extra baby weight makes it really hard to sit or post the trot. Pretty comical.

I'll give more updates once the vet has been out, but for now I'm going to enjoy the nice weather we're having. Today's high is mid-60s. Tomorrow and Sunday, we're supposed to hit the 70s. We totally bypassed spring. Oh well. Gotta love Minnesota weather.

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