Blind Man the Magnificent

Our handsome stallion got his second work-out yesterday. My entire right side is bruised from having him ricochet off of me, and I’ve got quite a few strained muscles. But it was so worth it!

A recap from our first training a few weeks ago. Blind Man can see just enough that big objects–like trailers–loom like nice dark, shadowy menaces. Or so we think. Trailering a thousand pound, terrified bundle of hooves, teeth and temper is no picnic. We couldn’t even get him near the trailer, much less tie him up. He snorted and jumped and started over every single movement. No way in hell we were going to get anything on his back!

Now, to be fair, he’s gone from poster-boy for screwed-up animals to an amazingly sweet creature. He picks up his feet for us–after a good wrestle–and we can lean on him and generally play with him. But still, he’s abused. More than abused, he was flat-out tortured. And blind. That’s something that’s pretty hard to overcome, and everything we get out of him is cause for excitement.

So yesterday, he stood tied to the trailer. He munched treats, yelled at his ‘herd’ of one, yanked and stomped because he couldn’t eat the grass, but he stood tied to the trailer. Several times.

Yesterday, we put a blanket on his back. It took a few false starts, a few snortings and jumpings and prancings, but hey, we got a blanket on his back. And then another one on top of that. And then we flapped the blankets, and shook them around and just generally tried to get a rise out of him. Uh, yeah. He ate grass.

We led him around the yard, picked his feet up, pushed him around and played with his ears and mouth–stuff that even unabused horses don’t always allow–and he was just fine. The occasional jump, but it was shocking how well he behaved!

Horses don’t train overnight. Most of them take a long, long time. There are a select few though, that just get it the first time you show it to them. One of my horses is like that. Blind Man is also like that. So the question is, what sort of trainer could possibly get so pissed at his ‘lack of progress’ that they felt it was necessary to torture him? That’s one hell of a pathetic excuse for a trainer.

The focus right now is to get him to allow us to trim his feet. After that, we’ll try putting on a real horse blanket, and generally getting him as bomb-proof as possible. The key here is to remember that we don’t know how much training he’s had, or what other mental scars are going to show up. So he might be flying along now, but we have to be so exceptionally careful that we don’t get our expectations too high. If we push him, it will only make it take longer.

But damn he’s smart.

Oh! *edit* I forgot. Apparently he’s a nice watch-horse too. His home is right next to a busy road. So some young guys saw the pig out in the pasture and decided to play ‘catch the pig’. Yeah, no. The owner said she heard him scream–like only a stallion can!–and looked up to see him tearing up the pasture (this is the BLIND horse people!) towards the boys. Teeth bared, ears back, that was his pig to harass. No one else’s. The owner said she couldn’t stop laughing.

The other horse is equally funny. One of the dogs got into her food. So she carefully picked the 65 lb dog up by the scruff and set her off to the side, then went back to eating. There wasn’t a mark on the dog’s neck. Anyone wonder is a.) horses are powerful, and b.) horses are incredibly gentle?

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One Response to “Blind Man the Magnificent”

  1. amberbiesinger Says:

    I just wanted to tell you I liked reading this blog. I like horses but never was very into them. I must say though I’m very impressed that you train horses, thats incredible, and as sappy as I sound. I think that says a lot about you 😀 Good stuff of course.

    Well keep up the good work.

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