Blind riders, thoughts? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-03-2014, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Question Blind riders, thoughts?

I was wondering what thoughts everyone had on this. I have a blind family member (adult) that wants to ride. What do you think is the best way to go about this is? I know that there are therapeutic programs that advocate for them doing everything themselves (catching, leading, grooming, riding, everything). I've read about people that trail ride without sight. Just exploring the options. At first I am sure that riding in the round pen or in the arena would be fun, but after that. I'm wondering about the safety of ponying, that kind of thing.

Anyway, I know its a unique subject and just thought I'd ask for thoughts.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-03-2014, 02:49 PM
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A really good horse! :) I personally don't have any blind family/friends who ride but I would find a horse that you could put them on who would know the boundaries of the arena and respect them but also go off the rail. As for ponying it would need to be a horse that could follow without qualm and know a bad situation from a good one. (For instance, my mare's like a mule, if the footing isn't good on a trail she won't go down there. She just stands still and waits for me to realize and/or makes a less dangerous path.) Good luck! I hope you get better ideas! :)
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-03-2014, 04:04 PM
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need a really good horse, and the horse and rider have to have a good bond.

I knew a guy who used to do CTR rides alone who was legally blind. he rode a mustang that would pick out the trail marker flags for him. he always finished, never heard of him getting lost.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-03-2014, 04:15 PM
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I have taught several blind people to ride and apart from small allowances, have the belief that they can rode as well as a sighted person.

The first two were children, a boy of a out 10 and his older sister who was 12. I never started them in an arena or on the lunge but ponied them from a good hunter and they were riding suitable ponies. The hardest thing to teach them was trot rising, (this was only after they achieved a good sitting trot) the rest was just as it would be for any other child I was teaching,
When it came to arena riding I would use four bleepers that emitted different signal tones. This enabled them to know when they were coming to corners

As soon as they were in control, had good strong seats, they were out on the trails off a lead. I always gave warning of things ahead, often forgot to tell them to duck if I went under a low branch.

The girl was far more enthusiastic and, with verbal help she could complete a round of show jumping and we even competed cross country in a pairs class.
She did have the most fantastic pony that seemed to understand her disability.
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