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View Full Version : OMG! I LOVE this horse!!!



manentail
Sep. 23, 2011, 08:59 PM
I'm so excited I just have to share! I am riding a clients LOUD leopard appaloosa gelding for her, she bought him at an auction, pretty much as a pet and wanted me to get him into shape and play around with him to see if he knew anything.
So we start playing around with him and he has had a lot of dressage training! I can't tell you how nice it is to ride a horse that knows whats he's doing for once, instead of training green horses. The best part... (drum role) he is totally blind and keeps me very honest as a rider! I get to take him to a dressage show Oct. 9th, yay! I like him so much I offered to buy him off of her, and sell my other mare, funny how things just kind of find you.
He is built so nice too, why would someone just throw away a horse like that?? Has anyone ever ridden a blind dressage horse?

didgery
Sep. 23, 2011, 09:06 PM
Congratulations on finding such a cool new horse friend! I love appies and I totally hear you on the matter of riding a horse who actually knows what he's doing. I had a similar experience last week, riding a friend's DWB mare after several years of poking about on my darling trail mule. What a relief for my aids to be understood so effortlessly.

I'm glad you can look past the horse's disability and see what a gem he is. He sounds wonderful! I don't have personal experience with blind horses but I do know several stories about successful blind dressage mounts. There's Valiant, for instance: http://www.valianttrust.org/quest.html.

Enjoy!

ohrebecca
Sep. 23, 2011, 09:08 PM
That's so awesome, and I do so love a loud leopard in the show ring! But, you've failed us by not giving us pictures :) Is his current owner going to sell him to you so you can continue learning from him?

manentail
Sep. 23, 2011, 09:26 PM
I can do better than pictures, I'll get some video tomorrow!

questomatic
Sep. 23, 2011, 10:04 PM
My Appy is blind and we still do dressage. I'm guessing that your guy lost his due to uveitis? What's his age? My Quest is 27 this year and but finally lost his sight completely about 3 years ago. We really don't treat him much differently from the other horses. He had an adjustment period of about a year where we weaned him from stall confinement to a round pen to increasingly larger turnout but now he putts around with an elderly mare all night in a large turnout. His temperament and intelligence have definitely made it easier. His pastures does not have any smooth wire or hot tape. If he is having problems with turnout you could try plastic ribbons on trees and posts so he can "hear" the objects. Eventually he will know his space and not need them. In the fall when the mornings are brisk Quest will get all spunky and trot 20 meter circles in the dead center of his pasture where he knows it is clear. Blind horses have plenty of life to live and love to give. Congratulations on finding a little diamond that someone has tossed away. Many people thought I should give up my "disabled" horse and get something younger. Quest seems more attentive to my aids and very tuned into me. If he can't see he has to listen to you!

MyssMyst
Sep. 24, 2011, 12:21 AM
I am looking forward to pics and video! Will you keep us updated? I'd love to follow your progress.

manentail
Sep. 24, 2011, 09:40 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh9kCC2ufDE

MelantheLLC
Sep. 24, 2011, 11:38 PM
any chance he's a knabstrupper? cute & lucky guy :)

Beentheredonethat
Sep. 25, 2011, 01:01 AM
Welcome to the club. My Appy was also blind. I lost him at almost 31, still doing the I-1 work until the day he died. We showed through the levels and tried GP, but he could never really do it. We just stayed at I-1.

As you noted, you have to be very honest and very right on with a blind horse. They have to trust you completely and your balance, because everything they do relies on that. I know you are new to him, and not a criticism, just a note. He's moving like he's still pretty wary and unsure (just because I know what it sees and feels like.) I don't know what arena options you have, but that one is pretty small for him. You also will become very aware of any unlevelness in footing. Whereas it would not affect a sighted horse, it will very much affect him. He's still moving wide behind because he's not quite sure. You want to get him really balanced to his hind end, which will be his saving. A blind horse needs to be able to feel like they can stop and stay balanced at any time, and it's much better to have them collected and sitting behind, then trying to get as much ground time with his legs, which is what he's doing now. Also, watch the small circles. They get get dizzy where a sighted horse won't. Lunging is just plain cruel because they don't even have your aides to help balance.

They make great teachers because you get such instant feedback from them and they do what you tell them to because they have no choice, whereas sighted horse will automatically correct errors.

manentail
Sep. 25, 2011, 05:25 AM
He went blind because of detached retinas. We turn him out in a paddock he knows with a buddy horse, (either a 33 yr old, or a 26 yr old, he is 20. I took a picture one time and said they were gonna play cards ;) )
When we have some of the conditioning down I am considering taking him to my trainer, I am already not the best rider in the world, and with this blind guy I'll definitely need some help. That is interesting about them getting dizzy. I have a much larger outdoor, the footing needs redone, but it is level.
Knabstrupper, maybe, is there any giveaways other than papers? No papers came with him.

2tempe
Sep. 25, 2011, 08:23 AM
any chance he's a knabstrupper? cute & lucky guy :)

I agree, he looks like a knabstrupper. Have fun with him!

manentail
Sep. 25, 2011, 11:01 AM
Didn't even know what a knabstrupper was, then I looked it up, that is so cool!

atr
Sep. 25, 2011, 12:50 PM
Lovely horse!

Much more likely to be an appy, I have one very similar but somewhat heavier built who is the bee's knees, as far as I'm concerned :)

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/ACTRI/P1000576.jpg
(yes, I have a mini version too :))

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/ACTRI/Walkerboise.jpg

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/ACTRI/100_1442.jpg

Google Frank Scripter, and go look at the Scripter Appaloosa breeders facebook page. I think you'll find it very interesting!

rainechyldes
Sep. 25, 2011, 12:59 PM
Nice guy.
I'll vote for appy as well - I see a very 'appy' sporttype build/movement that echoes quite a few of the gang I keep at home here ( I raise appy and appy crosses)
H'es pretty much the double of my main riding horse, (cept mine is a few spot) but the body style match is eerie to see for me - I'd swear that was my horse on a spottier day

baylady7
Sep. 26, 2011, 12:00 PM
I love his mane!!!

FatCatFarm
Sep. 26, 2011, 02:46 PM
Lovely horse!

Much more likely to be an appy, I have one very similar but somewhat heavier built who is the bee's knees, as far as I'm concerned :)

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/ACTRI/P1000576.jpg
(yes, I have a mini version too :))

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/ACTRI/Walkerboise.jpg

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/ACTRI/100_1442.jpg

Google Frank Scripter, and go look at the Scripter Appaloosa breeders facebook page. I think you'll find it very interesting!

Scripter horses are AMAZING. Too bad it seems that no one is really breeding them with any size any more. This is my guy:

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e110/KPWebb/Horses/SunnyRearing1.jpg

HPFarmette
Sep. 26, 2011, 03:00 PM
knabstrupper/appy who cares...I want one!:lol:

WBLover
Sep. 26, 2011, 03:26 PM
Lovely guy, and have fun with him! I do have to be the stick in the mud though, and ask you to PLEASE wear a helmet!! ESPECIALLY with a blind horse, he could very easily trip on something and fall, or brush up against something that could startle him and make him bolt, and you really need to protect yourself!

atr
Sep. 26, 2011, 04:22 PM
FatCat, what a lovely horse. Aren't we lucky?

(There's a really cute Scripter weanling on Dreamhorse at the moment who looks to me like he's going to be smashing. However, I neither have the time nor the facilities, sadly...)

manentail
Sep. 28, 2011, 02:51 PM
I got my first canter out of him today, it was only 5 steps, but it was balanced and I could tell he was really trying. This is a big step for us! And of course NO ONE was around to see it :(

mitma
Oct. 1, 2011, 08:25 AM
Congratulations! It's always amazing to see the horses that end up at auctions and other more dangerous sales venues... He is very lucky to have found you! :yes: And, I am so glad that you are committed to working with him despite his blindness...

Here is a great link to a website discussing blind horses:

http://blindhorses.org/

And, regarding his breed possibilities, I think it's NOT likely that he is a Knabstrupper... they are still very rare horses in North America and, in the US, command high prices, especially if they have some skills, so unlikely that a Knabstrupper would end up at an auction without an identity or registration papers, etc...

It is most likely that he is a full blooded Appaloosa and, given his conformation (and full mane and tail :D ), likely to be foundation bred such as has been mentioned from a Scripter/Ghostwind program.

Curiously, in what state or province was he purchased? You might consider trying to find foundation appaloosa breeders in that area to see if anyone may be able to help you with tracing his identity...

Good Luck and keep us posted on his progress!

And, for everyone else out there, don't think that Foundation Sporthorse type appies with size aren't being bred... :eek:

Here's a link to a picture of my weanling filly, Eira Gwen (RDF Ti Kha Atta Rain x Waps Malaika):

http://drsportsimaging.smugmug.com/DressageatDevon-2011/Breed-Classes/Class-107-Fillies-of-2011/19095068_ZBngQp#1503153961_MxFgT79

In case the link doesn't focus on just her, she is the obvious fewspot filly among all the others... LOL!

Here's her pedigree:

http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/eira+gwen

I haven't actually calculated her foundation percentage, though by blood she is still 25% TB... her sire is 16.2 HH and her dam has consistantly produced offspring that reach 17 HH... the fact that she is a fewspot is just "icing on the cake"... LOL! :yes:

LarkspurCO
Oct. 1, 2011, 10:30 AM
I love your filly's black feet.:D

LarkspurCO
Oct. 1, 2011, 10:33 AM
Oh, where are my manners? I love the leapard spotted guy, too. If I could have one of each of my favorite type of horse, one would be a loud appy.