Laddie came to us from a lady in Ohio. She loved this horse but was not able to care for him once he went blind. She called and asked if Laddie could come to the ranch.
We tell people that one advantage of blind horses is they don’t pick gate latches. We forgot to tell Laddie.
His first night here we put him in a stall with a gate that was secured with both a latch and a chain hooked behind a post. The next morning we went out to the barn and found the barn aisle in chaos. Grain bins were opened, cat food was spilled everywhere, and feed pellets were strewn across the floor. There was blind Laddie, standing in the middle of the mess, happily eating out of the barn cats’ food bowl.
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Laddie had sampled every food source in the barn overnight, a dangerous thing for a horse. We rushed him to the vet clinic. Fortunately Laddie the lock-picker survived his gluttony, and he is now secured behind a Laddie-proof gate. The other horses are still trying to figure out how he did it.
We paired Laddie up with our blind mare Marie, a big brown girl who has had some – let’s be honest – rather neurotic relationships with other horses here. We were still looking to pair her with ‘Mr. Right,’ and it turned out Laddie had the right stuff. In other words, he lets her be the dominant one in the relationship. (Hey, whatever works!)
Laddie and Marie have made a wonderful couple, and both get very vocal when one is led away without the other. They spend the summer and fall grazing together in a big 15-acre pasture. In colder weather they share a corral, and at night are snug in their barn stalls – where Laddie remains a frustrated lock-picker.