Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I have a friend who actually blindfolded his pony after he had all his basics and ground manners done, and I've taken to using the method myself. We'd put a towel over his eyes and tuck it in his bridle/halter and walk/ride him around in the arena and fields. He never freaked out, and was very trusting of his handlers (my friend and me). We could canter him around in the indoor (never tried it outside in the fields) and he'd go wherever you pointed him. It improved his trust/respect levels immensely, but would only move if he trusted the handler (wouldn't do it for the girl that leased him). I rode him around bareback with just his halter and a lead while he was blindfolded. I plan on trying this with Lucky (in the arena on the ground) Sunday when I go out before I ride. I haven't done it with her yet, but she trusts me, so I doubt I'll have any issues. Neither of us have had a horse that has freaked when we've done it, so I'd liketo believe that we know when they're ready for that "step".
My point is, just because he's blind does in any way mean that it's the end for him if he hasn't gone "crazy" already, IMO.
BO only thinks it's necessary for the possibility of a barn-fire so that they won't cause an even bigger issue by freaking out when they get a towel tossed over their heads if a fire ever happens. I think it's great to get them desensitised and use to blindly following their handler in the case that a fire may possibly happen, for whatever reason.
I agree with the rest of the members that posted here though, if my post was kind of off-topic a bit. :3
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