two blind pals came to us from a Missouri animal rescue group
that was closing its doors. They had managed to find homes
for their other animals but not for Rocky and Hawk.
There’s a reason they are pictured together here –
because they’re always together. We have never seen
two animals more closely bonded together than these two blind
horses. They eat together, snooze together, and play together.
It turns out that earlier in their lives, they had been together
on a farm where they had first befriended each other. Then
they were sold off to different people and went their separate
By a twist of fate, a year or two later both ended up at
the same Missouri rescue group. Hawk was already there. When
Rocky arrived, Hawk somehow knew – by smell or sound
– that his old buddy had miraculously shown up, and
he made a beeline for his pal. The ladies who ran this rescue
group watched in amazement as the two blind horses greeted
each other as long lost friends.
So when the rescue group had to shut down, the ladies were
heartsick over these two blind horses. Not only could they
not find anyone to take a blind horse, they wanted to place
the two pals together. They finally e-mailed us, and we agreed
to give them a place at the ranch.
When they arrived here a few days after Christmas 2004, they
both had eye infections. Rocky, the leopard Appaloosa, responded
well to his medication and the infection cleared up. Hawk’s
infection did not clear up, and repeated treatments did not
cure the painful condition.
Both were also long overdue for dental work. In Hawk’s
case a tooth was jutting out sideways in his mouth and had
gouged a hole in his inner cheek.
So Hawk went in for surgery to remove the infected eye and
the tooth. Fully recovered, Hawk was glad to come back to
the sanctuary and join his friend Rocky again.
Despite ... or maybe because ... they’re both geldings,
their favorite game is to act like stallions. They’ll
rear up on their hind legs, reach over to nip each other on
the neck, front hooves slashing through the air. It looks
fierce, although it’s pure play for these two buddies.
Now, because they’re blind, this “stallion-game”
can appear a bit uncoordinated, until one misjudges the distance
and accidentally strikes the other one with a hoof. Ouch!
Then they’ll shake it off and the game begins again.
Rocky can see shapes and shadows still, while Hawk can’t
see a thing. So Rocky leads the way for Hawk, although Hawk
doesn’t know Rocky can’t really see either. In
other words, this really is a case of “the blind leading
the blind.” And it seems to work for them!