Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Blind horses: Trust makes anything possible

One of the BTB readers asked me to write about moon blindness -- and I will. In fact, I'm working on the article now. In reading about the disease, I found some inspiring stories about blind horses and how they adapt to being sightless. There are many, many success stories out there. The horse-owner bond can make the difference between the horse thriving or living in fear. Not too long ago I wrote about a blind dressage horse, Highway. Valiant Trust, a blind dressage horse competing at fourth level, is another example...

Imagine being a prey animal whose survival depends on sight and the ability to detect minute changes in the landscape, losing the ability to see. Many horses that lose their sight are quite fearful at first. But a surprising number adapt and continue in their riding career, thanks to the devotion and support of their owners. Here are some truly wonderful videos of riders and their blind horses...

Rolling Dog Ranch, a sighted mule and two blind mares. This must be horse heaven.

This is part 1 of a 3 part series. Part 2 will share some info about caring for a blind horse, and part 3 will cover moon blindness.


  1. My Appy was blind for a very long time, and we worked it out. Best trail horse I ever had the pleasure of perching on! ;)

    Great look at things! Cant wait to see the rest of your series!!

  2. My friend just put down her 23yo due to advancing moon blindness. He was not adjusting well despite having stable mates and had also developed an ulcer on one eye that further got infected with some kind of fungus.

    Although the horse was not in pain, surgery for the condition was not an option and with his ever increasing fright responses, it was felt this was the most humane action to take.

    She is totally heartbroken over his loss.

    It's very hard to make these types of decisions. I admire those who are so devoted that they are able to overcome this condition and go on to compete, ride and have a full life with their horse. I wish things could have gone better for my friend as she will always be second guessing herself as to whether she made the right decision.


  3. All these videos are so amazing, I only know half-blind horses.
    What breed is the horse in the second video? Noriker?


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.