Mane Chance

Boo's Blindness - the Race against Time

Boo, one of our rescued horses, is rapidly losing her eyesight. This appeal is to help her in dealing with this huge change in her life - creating a bespoke area of the site for her to live safely and happily as her condition worsens - and forever.
£2,935
raised of £2,900 target
by 55 supporters
RCN 1144144

Story

Boo is rapidly losing her eyesight. Will you help us win the race against time to support her during this difficult time by creating a bespoke space at the Sanctuary for her to memorise whilst she can still see in order to prepare her for when she can't?

Boo had a traumatic early life and suffered horribly at the hands of humans, leaving her nervous and jumpy. She sustained a fall in her younger years but the resulting broken shoulder was left untreated and it healed itself awkwardly leaving her with balance problems. She also suffers from uveitis, a painful condition of the eye which leaves her very sensitive to light. There are many causes of uveitis (she may even have hit her head when she fell) and it remains the leading cause of blindness in horses.

Since her arrival in 2021, our team has worked really hard and patiently with Boo and she is now a much calmer horse, loving and trusting in the company of others - human and equine! We have also supported her eye condition - she wears a mask to dull the brightest of daylight and always has access to a lot of shade. She had really come on leaps and bounds, so her recent diagnosis seems particularly cruel considering that she has already been through so much.

Over the past couple of months, we have noticed that Boo has become more jumpy again, unsure of unpredictable movements of the other horses in her herd. She also seems to struggle with judging distances, both larger (with regards to where the fences are) and smaller (often unsure of exactly where the water level is in a trough). It is difficult to test the eyesight of horses but our vet has been able to confirm that her pupils are not reacting to light and dark as they should. This deterioration will worsen over time and she is likely to lose her sight completely, in one or more likely both eyes.

There is no way of determining how long this will take so it is important that we act as quickly as possible in order to help Boo through this frightening and difficult time. There are lots of things we can do to ease her through the changes and to give her routine and consistency which she can learn now with the sight she has, and remember when she can no longer see.

Firstly, we have dedicated a field in the middle of the Sanctuary to be developed for Boo and Diamond (her buddy), who also has a less progressed form of uveitis. They have a very sweet bond already, with Boo following Diamond around the field, calmly grazing - something that will become more important as time goes on.

We would like to put their field shelter on a chalk and planings surface so that Boo can recognise, when she feels the change from grass under her hoof to a harder surface, that she is approaching shelter. Likewise with the water trough - she will be able to find it easier by feeling the ground.

Horses have dichromatic vision which means that they do not see the same colours as humans. Reds are not very clear to them and yellow and greens are very similar, but blue is one colour which they can usually distinguish more clearly. By introducing more blue into Boo's life - feeding buckets, head collars, lead ropes etc. she will be able to find things more easily - we will even put a blue rope on the electric fencing so it stands out more clearly to her for as long as possible. It will not be possible to feed Boo hay on the ground, so we will establish hanging feed areas so she will learn where to find food too.

Over time, her hearing will become more of a lifeline so already the team are teaching Boo commands that will be consistent and clear to her as time goes on. It will help her recognise what is being asked of her and make the simplest of tasks (putting on a headcollar, having her hooves trimmed etc) less frightening as she will understand what is happening. In the future, we may also introduce wind chimes into her field in order for her to work out where items are and it's not unknown for a companion horse (in this case Diamond) to have bells plaited into their manes or tails to also indicate where they are in the field.

There is no reason why Boo can't continue to thrive at Mane Chance but the clock is ticking for us to get the field safe and familiar to her - the frustration is not knowing how long we have to do this work, but it must be done if we want to support her. As we are sure you agree, it is worth all the effort to give her the life she deserves.

Will you help us raise the money to complete this work for Boo? Our target for this appeal is calculated to cover the cost of changing existing fencing, buying and laying the different surfaces she needs, purchasing equipment and preparing regular feed areas. Your support would mean the world to us and to her - it is never too early for her to start making the memories she will need going forward.

Thank you for any donation you can give - from all the team at Mane Chance - and from Boo herself of course!

About the charity

Mane Chance

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1144144
..Mane Chance rescues, re-habilitates & re-homes abused & abandoned horses. We also welcome disadvantaged young people & those in need of a little respite, including the vulnerable elderly to our site, to interact with our horses, hens and dogs.Transforming lives together. We help them to help us!

Donation summary

Total raised
£2,934.34
+ £320.25 Gift Aid
Online donations
£2,684.34
Offline donations
£250.00
Direct donations
£2,684.34
Donations via fundraisers
£0.00

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.