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breaking a blind 2 year old

This is a discussion on breaking a blind 2 year old within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Breaking blind horses
  • Breaking a blind horse

 
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    02-22-2011, 02:28 PM
  #11
Foal
She is a very gentle filly, loves people and in the year I've had her she hasn't been spooky out of control. She's very trusting and very willing, and in the ground work I've done with her prior to the blindness she learned fast. Even since she has been blind in the one eye, she doesn't seem scared or spooky, she gets a little nervous if you come up too quickly on that side or if she hears a loud noise, but once you pet her and talk to her she calms right down. She has a good head, which is why I'm so torn, because I'd hate her to be a pasture pony her whole life. She has so much potential, and she is far too young.
     
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    02-22-2011, 03:20 PM
  #12
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Production Acres    
This is a good way to DIE!!!!! Half blind horses or blind horses are NOT SAFE! They startle much too easily! Been around several in my life - have one finishing raising a foal right now. NO - you don't try to ride one, much less try to break one to saddle. Did I say - THIS IS A GOOD WAY TO DIE!!!

They need either put down or left in the same paddock for the rest of their natural life. Change is not good for these animals.
This isn't true I have been around MANY completely blind and half blind horses and they have made great horses. My friend broke her horse that was completely blind and she barrel races him. He is very trustworthy and my half blind horse doesn't spoke at anything! And I am looking into adopting a blind mare that I would have to train. I see no problems with her and don't see why should wouldn't be trainable to ride.

OP: I would start will little things right now, and make sure you allow the horse to know everything you are doing to it, by letting it touch it and smell it, after all that is all it is going to have to rely on now. I would just start with basic things for now, like lunging and getting her to know her gaits, if you haven't done so already. I also would do the saddling now, but since she is only two I would rush it too much. You actually want them to go through the pain and the transition of loosing their sight and not stress them out further. Then they also take some time to adjust to everything and learn that its not going to hurt them. Right after turning blind they are usually pretty skittish and have to learn things over again. But if you are there for her and help her understand things, you are going to have an incredible bond.
Another thing you are going to have to do is make sure that her food and water and in the same spot all the time so she can find it. And make sure that she isn't in a big field or have anything in that field she can run into. If she is running she could very easily trip on something she can't see and break a leg. Mainly it is going to take a lot of patience and care. I wish you luck with your little girl. :)
     
    02-22-2011, 03:46 PM
  #13
Weanling
Very much appreciate all the people who want to take all the extra time in the world to work with their animal to do something with it - not a problem - it is your animal - fine!

Put a blind horse in a group of horses and watch the herd. All of the snapping, ears laid back telling the other horse to move, tail switching, etc. get missed by the blind horse and pretty soon, the other animals in the group will overcorrect the horse severly because it missed all the non-violent cues that the other horse was giving out. Pretty soon the blind horse is shunned severly.

If you have a group of horses - say 10 in this group - all alike except one is blind. If you can only choose one to train and be your riding horse for the next 5 years. YOU DO NOT CHOOSE THE BLIND ONE!

If you have a blind horse and want to hold it, love it, and call it george! Fine! Does not mean as a general rule that it is the smart thing to do!
     
    02-22-2011, 03:53 PM
  #14
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Production Acres    
Put a blind horse in a group of horses and watch the herd. All of the snapping, ears laid back telling the other horse to move, tail switching, etc. get missed by the blind horse and pretty soon, the other animals in the group will overcorrect the horse severly because it missed all the non-violent cues that the other horse was giving out. Pretty soon the blind horse is shunned severly.
Tell that to my blind boy, who is in a pasture with three other horses and is the boss. He very clearly tells the other horses when to get out of his way, not the other way around.

Again, you cannot generalize all blind horses into one category, just like you cannot say all of a certain breed is too hot blooded to ride safely. If you wouldn't choose to work with a blind horse, fine, but do not tell someone looking for advice that just because their horse (that they know and you don't, by the way) is going blind that they will be killed if they try to train it. If you don't think it's safe, fine, then say "I don't think it's safe" and leave it at that, without all the melodrama.
     
    02-22-2011, 04:02 PM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by apachiedragon    
Tell that to my blind boy, who is in a pasture with three other horses and is the boss. He very clearly tells the other horses when to get out of his way, not the other way around.

Again, you cannot generalize all blind horses into one category, just like you cannot say all of a certain breed is too hot blooded to ride safely. If you wouldn't choose to work with a blind horse, fine, but do not tell someone looking for advice that just because their horse (that they know and you don't, by the way) is going blind that they will be killed if they try to train it. If you don't think it's safe, fine, then say "I don't think it's safe" and leave it at that, without all the melodrama.
Agreed. And the mare I am looking at is at a place with 54 other horses and she does just fine with them. She has one buddy that helps her out but other than that she is perfectly content with the herd.
     
    02-22-2011, 04:23 PM
  #16
Showing
Carmen, there is no reason to give up on her. If she has a good mind and you are willing to take the extra time, then there is absolutely no reason why you can't get her broke. One thing you might consider trying when you are working with her on the ground is to incorporate verbal signals to her so that she will learn what to expect. Like just before putting the saddle on her, say "Saddle". That way, she'll know it's coming and won't spook when it lands on her back.
     
    02-22-2011, 04:51 PM
  #17
Weanling
One of the most favourite horses I've ever ridden was a half blind Appaloosa gelding. He was so amazing. He never spooked in the whole time I knew him. He was used as a camp horse for the beginner riders and as a trail horse. Ridden in a hackamore too. I took him over jumps for the first time in his life and turns out he was an amazing jumper too. Perfect form over the fences. I wanted to show him hunters but his owners (who were also my coaches back then) said that I would lose marks for him being blind :/
I say go for it if you feel she and you are both trusting each other enough and feel ready for this part of her training!
     
    02-22-2011, 05:01 PM
  #18
Foal
I like a lot of these suggestions. I have worked with 2 1/2 blind horses. Each lost one eye completely for different reasons, both where children's horse and completely bomb proof, though one needed a red ribbon in her Tail. Pixie had a tendancy to kick if others got too close.

Carmen It sounds like you have a good base with her, I say keep going! Just know it may take a little linger for some things now and remember that your cues must now be verbal instead of body language. You still don't want to over due it with the noise but simple verbal cues.

I think patients and time and you'll get her under saddle and I'll bet, if done right, she'll be one of the best horses you've ever had because she will trust you so fully out of need. The only thing I see being a problem is I would think it leaves little room for error. If you accidentally lead her into a wall she may loose trust rather than gaining it.

I like Smorbs idea of a verbal cue when you saddle/halter/etc.
     
    02-22-2011, 08:33 PM
  #19
Trained
Personally I think its mean to ride a completely blind horse. I've known a few and although they CAN be ridden, none of them seemed happy. Horses are prey animals and being blind is very hard on them, no one can argue that. Im not going to tell you what to do though, just my opinion.
     
    02-22-2011, 08:58 PM
  #20
Foal
Yes it can be done. Your horse might be more reactive to sounds than the average horse because of the eyesight issues. Get your horse to trust you and make sure she doesn't freak out if she touches or runs into something in an arena. Make sure she is fine with you sitting on her and then work from there. You should always have at least 1 other person helping you train a blind horse. Get a good stop on her. Is she isn't the type of horse who spooks or freaks out too much you will have no trouble w/t/c around.
Does she lunge? If she does then it will be easier to ride her at all gaits. Pm me if you need more advice.
     

Tags
blindness, breaking, cataracts, training

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