The One Eyed Jack

In a deck of playing cards you will find a One Eyed Jack.  He’s just faced that way.  If he has two eyes, no one really knows.  There was a line of One Eyed Jack Quarter Horses.

With this last Triple Crown there was a one-eyed horse, and people made such a big deal over it.  “Oh his blind side is on the side of the “field.”  “Oh how can a blind horse run?”  Seriously people???!!!

As it was explained to me years ago by a vet (and I know I’ve mentioned this before) – Horses are different from people. Predator animals, such as ourselves, cats, dogs, anything that has their eyes in the front, their two eyes focus in to make one picture.  A prey animal has eyes on the sides of their heads to give them a pretty close to 360 degree view of anything that is going to attack them.  Actually the only blind spots they have are directly in front, and directly behind unless they move their heads.  So it comes down to, we have one TV screen in our head and the horse has two TV screens.  One for each eye.  Removing an eye knocks out one of the screens and the horse has to move his head to see around him.

I’ve had a horse that had an eye removed, and one of my boarders horses was blinded in one eye when she was young.  I also had my granddaughters pony who was blind in one eye.  Not one of these horses were bothered by the fact that they could only see out of one eye.  It bothered people more than it bothered them.  Once my mare got used to looking before going through a narrow space, my leg no longer hit a fence post.  The first time I brought her out to the hunt field after the eye removal, I was a little concerned.  The sun hadn’t come up yet, and she was set and determined to follow the huntsman over the first three-foot coop.  I wasn’t even sure she had seen it let alone made a correct judgement of distance and height.  Her bouncing in anticipation told me that she had it under control and I let her go.  Perfect, as though nothing had ever changed with her.

I have a dog that is deaf and is totally blind in her left eye, and almost totally blind in her right.  She was born this way.  She doesn’t know that other dogs hear, or see better than her.  She is happy, playful and totally enjoys life.  Does 90 miles an hour through a doorway on a turn and never hits it.  I do, but she doesn’t.

Humans are getting a little more comfortable with people with disabilities, but not with our animals.  Three legged dogs and cats don’t care they are missing a leg.  They are happy and run and play just like all the others.  Horses don’t care they are missing an eye, they just go on like before.

We are the problem.  We protect them too much, and worry about them.  We need to be more like our animals, and accept things we have no control over, and just go a head and enjoy life.

Sounds like a plan to me.


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One thought on “The One Eyed Jack

  1. Nancy Forsyth

    I am sharing this with my when-she -shows up Tuesday riding partner. She is so protective of her horse who lost sight in one eye. Silly
    You would have been proud of the answers and info I shared on my thoroughbred racing forums before the Triple Crown and Patch’s entry. He took sentimental money!
    Hope all is well.


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