About two years ago, I noticed that my wonderful Thoroughbred, Kit, that I have had for twenty years and trained and competed up through second level in Dressage, was doing some strange things. On trails, he was running into trees and running up on the heels of other horses. This is not normal for him. He had become a perfect trail horse and is the cover boy for all three of my trail guide books:
I called my vet and told him I thought Kit was blind. He said it was probably just a cataract that could be removed and he'd be fine. However, when he came to inspect his eye, he realized it was optic nerve damage. The cause????
So, my sweet Kit had to adjust to a world where half of it is missing. I had to learn to be his left eye and ride him while always being conscious of what he couldn't see.
About nine months ago, his eye started bulging out of the socket.
After X-rays and ultra sounds, we discovered that a large tumor was growing behind his eye, thus causing the blindness. We tried to shrink the tumor with steroids. This seemed to be working for a couple of months. But, eventually, the eye started bulging out again.
Fortunately for me, Colorado State University has a Veterinary school that specializes in cancer/tumor research. They agreed to take him. Thank goodness they did. Otherwise, I would not have been able to afford the surgery to remove the eye and the tumor.
You can see from the first two pictures that his eye is now gone and that he has healed well. We do not know the long-term prognosis. It turns out that my special horse also has a special tumor. There are only 6 recorded cases of horses with this type of tumor. One lived for 6 months, one lived for 6 years. So I really don't know what to expect. But I had to do what I could to give him a chance. I love this horse so much!
I am excited to announce that my newest book: "The Stone of Mercy, Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles," won the Gold Medal/First place award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction from the Feathered Quill Awards!
This fantasy is about the land of Crystonia that has been without a ruler for a century and a half. By tradition, the rightful heir to the throne is the one who wears the Silver Breastplate. No one expected the breastplate to be given to a young Duende girl, a descendent of the Fairies who once populated the land. Now she must complete the breastplate by gathering the four Stones of Light! You can get an autographed copy on my website: www.dancinghorsepress.com It is also available wherever books are sold. You'd have fun reading it!