Once Rocky and I started going outside every night, things just began to click and Rocky seemed to trust me more and more. We got so I could start to jog and he’d jog along side me. When I slowed down, he slowed down. When I stopped he stopped. I began to just say turn or cluck when it was time to turn and he knew to turn. Maybe he felt me turning too, I don’t know, but he somehow knew.
Even when winter came, I still took him out every night. I tried to stay out at least an hour each night, but there were nights when it was pretty cold, so I’m sure it was less. We’d always go out to the grass and even in winter he’d eat a little here and there. When it snowed, he’d take his hoof and paw through it or wiggle his nose down into it to find the grass. Even in the coldest of winter, the grass stays a little green right at the base and he’d look for that.
It could get hard too. I was exhausted going out every day. I really devoted my time off to him almost completely. It was hard if something else came up. If I didn’t go out, I felt horribly guilty and wondered if he was waiting for me, wondering where I was? I’d dream about building him an outdoor paddock and of getting him a companion. Unfortunately, he wasn’t my horse, so I couldn’t do much more than I was doing.
Seeing him, however, was most often the best part of my day. Even if I felt tired, and less than thrilled to go out, once I got there, most times I felt better when I got there and started hanging out with Rocky. Then, the hardest part was bringing him back in. Many nights I had to tug on him a little to get him to walk back in to the barn. He’d usually fight me one time and try to put his head down to eat, but if I insisted, he’d resign himself to it and walk with me back in. It really broke my heart some nights knowing he’d spent most of the day in his stall already.
If you have a blind horse, they are very capable of being turned out. They learn where things are. It may take some time for them to get used to it, and they will need you to help, but I know of other blind horses that get turned out daily – some by themselves, some with other gentle horses – and they do fine.