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OMG! I LOVE this horse!!!

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  • OMG! I LOVE this horse!!!

    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?

  • #2
    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.

    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


    • #3
      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?
      The Little Red Mare: French Curve

      and my non-horse blog: oh, rebecca!


      • Original Poster

        I can do better than pictures, I'll get some video tomorrow!


        • #5
          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!
          Amber King
          Furever Dachshund Rescue
          Fundraising Chair


          • #6
            I am looking forward to pics and video! Will you keep us updated? I'd love to follow your progress.
            Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


            • Original Poster



              • #8
                any chance he's a knabstrupper? cute & lucky guy
                Ring the bells that still can ring
                Forget your perfect offering
                There is a crack in everything
                That's how the light gets in.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • Original Poster

                    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.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MelantheLLC View Post
                      any chance he's a knabstrupper? cute & lucky guy
                      I agree, he looks like a knabstrupper. Have fun with him!
                      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                      • Original Poster

                        Didn't even know what a knabstrupper was, then I looked it up, that is so cool!


                        • #13
                          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

                          (yes, I have a mini version too )

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


                          • #14
                            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
                            Originally posted by ExJumper
                            Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


                            • #15
                              I love his mane!!!
                              Appy Trails,
                              Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                              member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by atr View Post
                                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

                                (yes, I have a mini version too )

                                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:

                                Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
                                Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog


                                • #17

                                  knabstrupper/appy who cares...I want one!


                                  • #18
                                    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!


                                    • #19
                                      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...)


                                      • Original Poster

                                        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