Blind Horse Owner's Stories

Duey's Story
Kari Belevender

Duey's Story

Blind Horse Owner's Story

I came across Duey while working at a guided trail barn when I was maybe 13. He had been there for a bit already when I met him and I absolutely fell in love the first time I swung my leg over him. He was fast, sure-footed, and confident but he was partially blind and quickly losing the rest of his sight. As Dueys vision deteriorated over the years, there were more and more accidents....he could no longer be trusted to stand tied, he had to be saddled from the opposite side, he had a rearring problem that became uncontrollable. And eventually Duey couldn’t be approached in the pasture to be haltered. He was deemed to dangerous to even bring up to the barn anymore. I had overheard the barn owner and the vet schedule euthanasia, as it was the kindest option at the time. But it broke my heart. He was a great horse he just needed somebody to help him adjust. 


I began going out to the pasture and talking to Duey when everyone would leave. I would spend hours trying to halter and lead him. It got easier and easier as time went on. I was just hoping that I could at least teach him enough to save his life, just enough to make him safe to be around again. 


One day I was caught. The owner of the barn lectured me on how dangerous it was. I told her I understood but begged her to give me a chance to show her what Duey and I had accomplished in such a short time. That evening she gave me Duey. 


In our years together we have beaten every odd. Duey continued to guide trails with me leading him, we began to attend shows and win. Duey came with me to college. We’ve attended clinics, rodeos, and been on countless adventures. Duey is absolutely the most amazing equine partner I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding and is absolutely irreplaceable. 


Duey is 27 this year. And we are still running barrels and pulling checks.


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