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Re: [RC] one-eyed horse - Beth Leggieri

I was hoping Donna would post about Danny!
 
I've seen this horse twice on the trail, and he is amazing!  If onlyall two-eyed horses had his spirit of adventure and brave nature.  Like all athletes who compete with a handicap, he inspires respect and admiration.
 
Beth in Texas

Donna DeYoung <skyhorseranch@xxxxxxx> wrote:
I ride a one-eyed horse named ERB Danzador. We're doing very well on the trails and plan to do our first 50 in a few weeks. here is his latest video - with the paca paca hoofbeats of a Peruvian Paso and the wind blowing his mane - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spLkoNJOLA0 . I think there is some adjustment period, obviously, when a horse first goes blind. Danny is learning to watch his feet on the trails; at first he was rather clumsy. I got him last summer and he had been blind for awhile.
 
So far he has completed two LDs - 21st out of 40 on our first ride (and fastest first time rider) then 4th place out of 21. our first challenge was learning how to open gates - he learned very quickly to side step over using his "good side" and now goes willingly thru gates. He is scared of small openings/fences because he can't judge the distance very well. He is wary of new things in his surroundings at home (same reason). The vet cks where there is tape separating the areas were a challenge at first, he would "blow" and nod his head trying to figure out if there was "room" to go thru, and his HR would go up a little. I took him to a desensitization clinic for training/bonding and he came along great. he is more jumpy on his blind side but is learning to trust people. I am learning to trust him more on tricky trails, but not sure how we would do in the mountains where there are big dropoffs and big consequences from an "oops" spook on the blind side. when passing riders, at first I made people pass him on his good side. but he doesn't seem to care if there are horses on his blind side. I warn people if I'm riding in a group that he might not see their horse (and could bump into them). but he is not mean and doesn't kick or do anything.
 
He does like to turn his whole body so he can see things. I always tie him loose so he can look around to his blind side. little considerations. I also lead him on the good side - which is the "wrong side" for leading a horse. we get wierd looks sometimes. A vet once asked what would happen if I trotted him out and was on his blind side. dum question I thought, he wouldn't be able to see me! Sometimes being blind is an advantage, like if there is something spooky on his blind side and I keep him from looking - he doesn't see it! So I figure he is half as spooky as a normal horse would be, but a little extra challenge because if he does catch something out of the corner of his eye, he will stop quickly and turn to look at it with his good eye. THis could throw you out of the saddle if you weren't ready :) A good attitude and lots of patience and willingness to bond are important w/ a blind horse, a little humor doesn't hurt, either. I frequently refer to his one eyeball...
 
Donna DeYoung


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[RC] one-eyed horse, Donna DeYoung