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Read About Special Needs Horses

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Caring for a Disabled Horse

Caring for a disabled horse requires a great deal of love and attention. Regardless of your horse's particular condition, you must put forth the effort necessary to ensure that your horse feels your love and concern for him.

For example, when horses go blind, whether due to disease or injury, it is common for the animal to feel extremely frightened for the first several days, if not longer. Your horse is completely dependent on you to take care of him, even when he is at optimal health. When he becomes disabled, this dependency, as well as the horse's feelings of vulnerability, double. Caring for a disabled horse that has lost his sight is particularly challenging. You must spend many days immediately following his initial blindness helping him to adjust to not being able to see his surroundings. You must help him learn where things are so that he can adapt and not hurt himself when he is alone. This type of adaptive behavior is important for any disabled horse to learn if he is to function and thrive and continue to lead a happy life.

There are other precautions that you must take when caring for a disabled horse. If your horse has a disability that is likely to get him picked on and abused by other horses, you must ensure that he is never in a group setting where such activity might take place. Horses do need a companion, however, so be especially careful that you do not isolate your horse. Put him with a gentle horse so that he will have a friend to rely on.

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