General UC Davis

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Given A Second Chance To See

  • Chestnut Feral Gelding
  • Entry Date – Spring of 1999 at 2 weeks of age
  • Type of rescue – Abandoned by his herd
  • Reason – Blind and caught in brush
  • Special needs – None

The General is our longest living resident. He was just two weeks old when a rancher found him abandoned by his herd nineteen years ago. Tangled in brush and blind from bilateral cataracts, there was no way he could keep up with the other horses. The rancher brought the young foal to Equamore. The Foundation paid for the eye surgery he needed through private donations and a generous reduction in the price from the Davis Veterinary School at the University of California. The vet school restored the foal’s sight by vacuuming out the cataracts. However, his vision was equivalent to looking under water since he had no lenses. Because of the University’s help, the horse was named “General U C Davis.”

Over the years his sight degenerated and he lost all vision in his right eye and most of it in his left. With continuing eye issues causing pain and inflammation that were not alleviated by his various medications, we made the painful decision to have his eyes removed early this year. At least he could be pain free. Notwithstanding our angst, within a day or two he adjusted to the loss of what little vision he had remaining and was in high spirits playing again with the ponies! What a good lesson for us about projecting our views on equines and underestimating the depth and breadth of their senses.

The General has always been a challenging horse. Because he was raised by humans instead of an equine mother, his behaviors are odd! But he is a good and loyal guardian for his friends. He “watches” over the whole pony field that includes three miniature horses, two ponies, and a pony cross. From blind to imperfectly sighted – to blind again, the General is an amazing horse.

You can enjoy a touching poem entitled “I Can See” transcribed for the General by one of his oldest friends on the last page of our online edition of the NeighSaver at http://www.equamore.org/category/neighsaver-newsletter/.

 


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