Venus came to Hanaeleh this summer. She had been picked up at an auction by a “rescue” organization that has since been shut down. At their facility, a splinter was embedded in her eye, which was not discovered until she was fostered out to an individual who was supposed to help train her. The foster realized the eye was infected, but by the time she had the vet out, too much damage and scar tissue had built up in the eye. Although they stopped the infection, Venus is now permenantly blind in her left eye.
Hanaeleh has spent the past few months getting Venus comfortable and feeling secure. She seems to have had a lot of round pen work, and knows to come up to people in the stall or arena. When we first got her, she would start to walk toward us, then would stop and walk away. We have worked with her, and she will now walk up and stay with us, although she is still very uncertain. We are hopeful that Venus will become more comfortable and brave as we continue to work with her. We don’t think that her blindness is what is causing her uncertainty and fear- we think that she is both uncertain and fearful AND she is blind in one eye. This changed how we are working with her, and we are trying to help build up her confidence- not just get her used to things she may not understand.
We have done quite a bit of sensory work with her, and we’ve discovered that her stomach pretty much rules over her brain; as long as there is the promise of a cookie, she will overcome her uncertainty of whatever it is that is causing her to be fearful. She has discovered that most of our volunteers have carrots and cookies, so she has started coming up to people on her own, which is a huge improvement!