When his horse went blind, Roderick Olson refused to give up on him. Now, this man and his blind horse are best friends.
Zaxson the horse wasn't always blind. In fact, his sight was perfectly fine until about 10 years ago, when it started changing. Zaxson's owner, Roderick Olson, couldn't do anything to stop the progression, and soon, Zaxson was a completely blind horse.
Some horse owners don't want to deal with blind horses, and sell them on. But it's a common misconception that blind horses are severely limited in what they can do. In fact, many horses adapt to being blind incredibly well. If they're provided with safe turnout areas and occasionally a trusted buddy, blind horses can live fulfilling lives.
But Olson saw that Zaxson could do more than just live out his years quietly. Olson set about riding Zaxson again, and the horse did incredibly well. When being ridden, Zaxson relies on Olson to be his eyes, and is very careful about where he's putting his feet. But still, the horse enjoys a canter across open terrain, and will even go down hills and into water.
Take a look at this beautiful video.
It's clear that Olson and Zaxson share an important bond. The horse trusts his rider completely, and Olson also trusts Zaxson to be careful with his feet while he's riding the horse. When riding a blind horse, the rider has to pay careful attention to objects which are coming up ahead of them. With rein and leg aides, a rider can help a horse to navigate obstacles even when the horse can't see them himself.
This is a wonderful story about true friendship and what a bit of trust can accomplish. Just because Zaxson went blind, Olson didn't give up on him. And his persistence paid off, as the two have enjoyed many rides together as a result.