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Blind Horse Sets 3 World Records

Updated: Apr 12

Morgan Wagner, 37, runs a horse stable in Eugene, Oregon, where she works with a 23-year old blind Appaloosa horse—Endo the Blind. When Wagner was 13, she chose Endo as a foal from her grandmother’s stable, and the pair have since been inseparable. However, the stallion began struggling with eye problems at the age of 8. “I was really sad. I mean, he’s my best friend,” she said. Before Endo’s eyesight began to decline, Wagner had been diagnosed with lupus, and at that time, Endo became her rock. As she struggled with visiting the barn and doing anything, Endo learned how to lay down so that she could get on him easily. He also picked up voice cues to lower his head. So, when it was Endo’s turn to be cared for, Wagner was ready to go above and beyond. When one of Endo’s eyes was removed, Wagner began preparing the stallion to cope with total blindness by using a blindfold and coaxing him to take one small step at a time—led by her voice and comforted by her presence. Six months later, his second eye was removed. “He didn’t want to lead at first, he just shook,” Wagner said. “So we did baby steps, first walking around the barn and then the arena, then outside for short bits of time.” Endo was even scared to canter up to walls. “He could sense the corners ... he was worried about hitting the wall,” Wagner said. But soon the stallion’s other senses grew more keen. “Now I can turn him loose anywhere, in new places, and he can sense everything. He can tell if a gate is open or closed, where a window is, where’s a wall, where there’s a fence.” Endo put his new skills to the test on Oct. 29, 2022, when he rode in the national championships and walked away with three Guinness World Records, proving that his disability was no longer disabling at all. He won: Highest Free Jump by a Blind Horse: 106 cm, Most Flying Changes by a Horse in One Minute: 39, and Fastest Time for a Blind Horse to Weave Five Poles: 6.93 seconds. Wagner and Endo have come a long way since Endo was a gangly foal, and Wagner was a teen who “didn’t even know how to put a halter on a horse.” They learned together. Trail riding and jumping became their favorite activities, but they didn’t compete in shows until Endo lost his sight. Endo has been one of the hardest horses Wagner has ever trained, but his tenacity makes their journey all the more rewarding. Today, Endo can do anything a sighted horse can do. “Disability doesn’t mean the end,” Wagner says.

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