When and what happened to Endo's eyes?
When he was 8, Morgan noticed that Endo was starting to squint a lot. His eyes seemed painful, and they were often weepy during the summer months. Morgan had the vet out as soon as she realized that something was wrong. Endo was diagnosed with Equine Recurrent Uveitis, glaucoma and cataracts.
What was done to save his eyes?
Morgan tried to lessen Endo’s painful flare ups by eliminating dust and other eye irritations in his environment. She only turned him outside during the night and she gave him daily oral anti-inflammatory medicine. The vet was out to see Endo multiple times a month to treat him with prescribed eye ointment and stronger oral medicine, but unfortunately nothing seemed to help. Endo’s eyes became more and more painful.
What did Morgan do to prepare Endo for total blindness?
Morgan started to get Endo used to being sightless by blindfolding him for brief periods of time. At first, he shook in fear, scared to move. Morgan remained with him, talking to him and petting him, trying to reassure him that it was going to be OK. After 15 minutes, Morgan coaxed Endo into taking a single step forward, and then she immediately removed the blindfold. His great trust in Morgan helped make the 2nd attempt go more smoothly, and Morgan was able to lead Endo around the arena with the blindfold in place. By the 3rd attempt, however, Endo figured out how to remove the blindfold immediately, which made practicing for a future without sight a bit challenging!
When was the second eye removed?
As predicted by the veterinarian, the second eye was removed around 6 months later. Endo recovered much more quickly and with more confidence than he had after his first surgery. Morgan thinks that all the time she spent with him, helping him learn to gain confidence in sensing his surroundings without visual cues likely helped ease the transition into sightlessness.
How did Endo and Morgan first come together?
When Morgan was thirteen, her grandma let her pick out one from her horse herd. Morgan chose Endo who was only a few months old.
Morgan says she chose Endo because he had a different presence than the other foals. Even when he was tiny, he had a strong and unique personality.
What was Morgan's horse background?
When Morgan first got Endo, neither of them knew how to put a halter on! I guess they are the exception to the saying “Green + green only ends in black and blue.”
Until very recently, when she has started to take some dressage and working equitation lessons from time to time, Morgan was entirely self-taught. She learned what worked and what didn't through trial and error. This approach may have actually helped the pair in some ways because it is the same technique she used so effectively when Endo had his eyes removed.
When and what happened to make the decision on eye removal (enucleation)?
It wasn't planned. Despite all the veterinary remedies attempted, Endo's right eye basically ruptured, and he was in a tremendous amount of pain. He had stopped eating because it hurt to chew, and the medicine he was getting to try to reduce the pain and inflammation affected his appetite. Morgan made the decision to remove Endo’s right eye when the vet said the eye wasn't able to be saved and started listing the options.
How did he recover?
Right after surgery, Endo was scared. The first night, Morgan found him shaking in his stall when she came to check on him. She stayed with him that night, and her presence seemed to comfort him.
How did the veterinarian feel about the possibility of the second eye being removed?
At that time, the vet had treated Endo for 5 years+ and knew no matter what happened, Morgan would take care of Endo. After Endo’s worsening conditioned required the first eye to be removed, the vet’s prognosis wasn't hopeful.
Can Endo go out with other horses?
When Endo was going blind, Morgan searched for a permanent companion for him so he would not be alone in his darkness. She found a miniature horse mare named Cinnamon who was in bad shape and needed a better home. Cinnamon now lives with Endo inside his stall and pasture. She is more herd bound than Endo, though, so she stays at home when he is traveling so she doesn’t disrupt his concentration when he is on the road. He has adapted really well to being without his mini mare companion when he is traveling, yet is always glad to find her waiting for him upon his return.
What is Endo able to do now? Can he be ridden?
Endo is able to do anything a sighted horse can do. He competes, trail rides, travels, jumps, performs liberty work, and participates in any other new experience that becomes available. He is a huge crowd favorite at Expos, where he has demonstrated his versatility, intelligence, and trainability in a variety of venues all across the United States and Canada.
Endo and Morgan have even been featured performers in an outdoor theater show.