I first heard about this little blind pony named Indienne last November, when I received an email from a lady in France named Heather. The pony belonged to a neighbor and had just gone blind. Heather was taking over the care of Indienne and was looking for some head and eye protection for her. She contacted us because she had seen our BlindHorses.org website. I emailed her links to resources that would help, and Heather recently sent me a couple of updates on how Indienne is doing — including that photo above. With Heather’s permission, I thought I’d share some of her experiences:
From an email earlier in May:
“I wrote to you some time ago about a blind horse that my neighbour presented me with. Indienne is a 20 year old Apaloosa which went blind because of lack of fly protection. Five months ago I was asked by her owner to put drops in her eyes but on veterinary inspection … she was pronounced blind. So Indienne and me started a journey — supported by the advice you give on your site. I persuaded her owner not to send her to the abattoir and we started working together. She adapted well to life in a large stable. With regular visits and walks, after a few months she became less anxious. I finally felt confident to let her out to graze — in a Guardian mask [Steve adds: that’s what she is wearing in the photo above], to protect her eyes from more physical damage and a homemade head bumper. She is now turned out for 6 hours a day. I find that she doesn’t move too much in her pasture so we walk for 30 minutes every day too. As we live in France and summer is hot, Indienne will soon spend nights out and days in the cool of a fly-free stable. I would just like to say: thanks Steve, for giving me the confidence to help Indienne and I would like to encourage everyone to have a go – neither they nor their horse have anything to lose.”
And from an email last week:
“I own 10 horses and look after a further 10 but my time walking Indienne to her field and back is really wonderful – often the highlight of my day.
The absolute trust she shows and her intelligence amazes me every day. In just two months she has clocked everything in her path from stable to pasture (nearly a kilometer). The stallions are recognised with an indifferent snort….the bleats of pygmy goats that live in her paddock are greeted with pricked ears and chomping grass is near….opening the creaky gate to her field produces tugging on the lead rein – real excitement. Today, when I went to fetch Indienne, I left the gates to my property open – she is used to having to wait for me to open them when we come back to her stable. She recognised this change of routine and as she walked through the open gates she paused, almost thoughtfully as if to say, ‘normally around here we stop, there is a grating sound and I have to do a manoeuvre…’ It just takes time, patience and advice from people like you – that makes a real difference just one blind horse at a time. Heather.”
Heather, thank YOU so much for doing everything you can for Indienne. This was just wonderful to hear!