How To Care For A Blind Horse
Caring for horses requires a great deal of work. Caring for a blind horse takes patience and understanding. You need to develop a sense of trust between you and your horse.
Speak softly to the blind horse. When one of the senses is lost, other senses of perception become stronger. A horse can hear exceptionally well. A blind horse will be able to hear even the slightest noise. Using a loud voice or making loud noises can startle the blind horse.
Move slowly around the blind horse. Sudden movement will startle any horse. The blind horse will be able to hear the movement and can not comprehend what is happening. Slow, gentle movements will allow the blind horse to gain an element of trust in you.
Check the stall and pasture for any dangers or potential problems. There should never be anything hanging on the sides of the stall. A blind horse can not see what they are brushing up against. This unseen barrier can create panic in the horse. The pasture can present many dangers for a blind horse. Holes can cause the horse to trip. Other animals can become aggressive or pose a threat to a horse that is blind.
Keep watering sources and food sources in the same place. A normal horse can see and smell their food or water. A blind horse can only smell. If the blind horse knows where the water is and where the feed is, they do not have to search to refresh themselves.
Walk with your horse constantly. The more familiar the horse is with a routine the more comfortable they will feel. Again, this can lead to a bond of trust between you and your horse. The repetition of walking from the barn or stable to the field will eventually become habit for the blind horse. They will know what to expect each day. This will give them a sense of comfort. Horses can be very loving animals and will show affection for their caretaker.
Use the horse's name on a regular basis. A horse can know his or her name just as a dog does. When you teach the horse to recognize their name, you can call to them when you need enter the barn or pasture. The blind horse will know you are there for them. As the trust builds up between you and your horse, they will walk towards your voice when you call.
Groom your horse as much as possible. When you groom a horse it is a time when you are getting to know the horse and they are getting to know you. It is part of bonding with the horse. It is important to bond closely with a blind horse because trust is everything in the relationship.
Have patience. A blind horse who was once able to see can seem to be very aggressive. They are just trying to cope with their affliction. A horse which was born blind can be trained more easily. Either way, a blind horse will take a lot of work. If you feel you can not offer as much time as the horse needs, there are organizations which can take the horse. These groups are able to give your horse the attention it needs to survive.
Tips & Warnings
It is possible to ride a blind horse. The horse must completely trust it's rider. The rider must be experienced. An inexperienced rider could injure themselves and the horse. The rider becomes the eyes of the horse and must be able to see any dangers on the path. It may take years to develop a bond which allows the horse to let someone ride them.
If you do not have patience or time to spend with the animal, contact an organization who specializes in special needs animals.
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About Julie: JulieAnn is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently JulieAnn has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. JulieAnn is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her Bachelor's degree in English.
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