By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal
Every one of us has our own unique physical and mental limitations. Though we may find our weaknesses frustrating, most of us are blessed to have fully functioning bodies; we are not truly handicapped.
That is not the case for Fireball, a very special miniature horse. Though he was born with eyes that operated normally, a year or two-ago he was involved in an accident in his pasture that permanently damaged one of his eyes.
When I first met him, Fireball had become outgrown by his current children and he was looking for a new home. Though he was as sweet and as happy as could be, his left eye was so severely damaged in the accident that he no longer had vision in that eye, plus he looked like he had been possessed by the devil. The poor little guy’s eye looked like a flame of fire.
Although my husband and I do not have children of our own, we are always looking for sweet and calm miniature geldings to add to our driving program, and Fireball’s wonderful disposition and driving skills fit the bill, despite his lack of vision in his left eye.
During his first few months with us, it become obvious that Fireball was slightly depressed. He was eating and drinking, but he didn’t seem like his normally alert and happy self. A veterinarian exam showed that his damaged eye had become infected and was causing him pain and affecting his health.
Because he has such a winning personality, a team of veterinarians and a vet tech worked together to make sure Fireball could have his damaged eye removed in a speedy and financially affordable fashion.
Fireball was joy to every one that he met during his surgery and recovery. He always maintained his sweet disposition.
Upon full recovery, Fireball become a dependable part of our driving crew. When one of our miniatures decided he no longer wanted to lead the tandem hitch, Fireball welcomed the challenge and bravely led his partner in the ring for the county fair.
In addition, Fireball took care of every inexperienced driver that drove him and patiently waited as many children visited him at the fair to ask about his missing eye.
It is easy to become caught up in our own limitations, but when you observe others with true handicaps overcoming them with such patience and joy it is hard to dwell on our own problems.
Even little Fireball seems to understand that his injury and recovery was indeed minor compared to the challenges others are presented with during their life time.
Take time this Christmas season to be grateful for healthy bodies and sound minds and pray for those suffering from the lack of them. And remember when times are tough, having a gentle nature and positive outlook, like Fireball the one-eyed wonder horse, can make those challenges easier to overcome.