Blind Wanna-be Rider
I have always liked to be a horse rider since I was a child. What drew me to horse riding was the thrill and the action, and the sense of companionship. However, I am blind and I live in Iran, surrounded by family and friends that constantly say "you can't" as the first thing. So, it took me a long time to realize, at the age of 21, that I can do anything as I have done so far; by putting my mind into it. So, I thought I'd ask you people who have experience with horse riding some questions:
1. Is it even worth riding when you are living in a crowded city?
2. My life is dull, as the life of any other computer programmer is. That is, no thrill, no action, no pump of adrenaline and nothing exciting. Can I get this kind of craving satiated through riding? Of course, the riding in movies seems quite refreshing, but nowadays Hollywood makes everything seem like that just to get their movies to sell.
3. How intelligent are horses really? Will the horse that I will train with, eventually get to know that I can't make all the decisions for him/her and a decision must be made based on his/her initiatives?
4. What problems will I be facing? What things will I have to overcome?
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Since you can program computers and such, is it safe to assume that you're either partially blind or legally blind?
If that's the case, I say go for it because I'm legally blind, but I still compete with my horses like anyone else.
The only thing they do different for me is during halter or showmanship classes the judge uses different signals rather than a nod of the head because I can't see that.
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I see no reason at all why you couldn't ride. It will be difficult for you to find a horse that has the temperament to accommodate your handicap, but they are out there. The horse will need to be very mellow, very well broke, and very trustworthy. Are there any kind of riding stables or lesson stables around your area?
I know a blind lady who rides at our place, and she copes absolutely fine.
She went on a training week, or something, I am unsure how to word this, and I apologise if its rude.. she went on a course that taught her to use sounds to understand where she is- I think it was a beep.
She found our yard with our very understanding teacher, and a superb horse. She learnt to groom the horse herself, and tack up 80% on her own.
She was taught on the lunge first, until she felt comfortable. After that the trainer would lead the horse and Marget would find out as much she could.
Before the owner of the horse had to sell the horse she was walking and trotting on her own.
She was very happy and thoroughly enjoyed it- so if you can find a horse, and a trainer, why not?
And I believe the horse's do know. This mare was a baggage with kids and adults alike for grooming and tacking up- she would stand still every time for Marget.
Wishing you good luck in finding the right place to ride- I would definetly give it a go!
If you are blind, how are you reading this?
There are programs, mildot, that speak the text.
I think you could absolutely enjoy the thrill of riding. I personally would trail ride, but in the arena could be just as relaxing and invigorating at the same time. My concern for trail riding would be holes in the ground, the horse spooking at something and bolting. When things go wrong, we use every one of our senses to gain control, but if you cant see what you are headedtowards, the outcome could be a disaster.
If you can find a riding barn that does lessons, you'd probqably really enjoy riding. Hope you find something that works for you.
With the right horse there is no reason you couldn't ride.
I knew a wonderful lady growing up who was completely blind and rode every day. Her horse was fantastic, he probably could have out worked many seeing eye dogs. She even did road riding with him, he made the decision when and where it was safe to cross, etc. She showed him and even jumped with him. She was in her eighties when she stopped riding and only stopped then because her horse passed away and she didn't think at her age she could find another as trustworthy. I was very young when she passed away and still to this day I don't think I've ever seen a human horse partnership as amazing as theirs.
I agree with other suggestions to find a trainer that has a lesson mount that is dead broke. Start on a lunge line and learn to feel your horse. I ride a lot of times with my eyes closed to get in tune with my horse, I could see it being an advantage in some respects. If you've got the dream and determination, go for it!
Wow, thanks everyone for your wonderful messages!
First of all, as for what I read, yes, I use a program that reads the text on the screen (Screen reader - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
We have a big arena here, and I have heard that they have a barn and offer horse riding lessons. So, great, I'll just start and begin from the arena!
However, there is one thing I do not understand from the replies I've gotten from you guys:
I read a message from SMRobs that said the horse should be mellow and very well broke. How can I know whether the horse is "mellow", and what does "very well broke" mean?
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