Love is Blind

Lea was born the morning of May 22, 2011. Louise, one of my farmhand photographers, started training her little gray filly that very day. Aside from an unusual nervousness about her feet, Lea was easy to train. First a bit, then a saddle, and eventually she let Louise rest across her back.

Recently, Louise received a call from her friends who board Lea to say they’d …

taken Lea to their local vet because they noticed something odd about her: she didn’t seem to notice a gate and her eyes had become cloudy. The local vet agreed there was a vision problem and recommended that Lea be seen by a specialist at Washington State University Veterinarian School.

There, Lea was diagnosed with total congenital blindness in both eyes.

Louise originally intended to train her sweet filly in performance reining and barrel racing.  Following her diagnosis, the doctor recommended that Louise never ride her. But Louise has every intention of riding her and taking her as far as possible toward being a productive horse. Her guiding principle will be that she must never betray Lea or let her down because she will be Lea’s eyes. Lea will need to trust her completely.

Knowing Louise, I’m confident they’ll have a bright future together.

  1. JustB says:

    Beautiful story – go Louise! Louise’s respect for Lea is very touching. One of my dogs went blind a year ago and I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from him since! Louise and Lea are in for a wonderful journey.

  2. Laurie Dimino says:

    What a sweet and touching story for a good Sunday morning read. It soulnds like Lea and Louise are partners for life and are already on their way to a wonderful future. I think they are lucky to have each other, for they sound like a perfect match!

  3. Shery says:

    Having imprinted nearly 40 foals that we bred and then followed through with the after birth training – sometimes to the saddle (they usually sold before that), I feel such empathy for Louise. There are no shortcuts in training horses, no substitutes for quality time. Before the filly was a year old, ** I KNOW** what kind of time she’d already invested. Then, to learn that her lovely filly is blind had to be devastating. Love is the only thing that will help them both overcome the massive undertaking that lies ahead. In truth, the Vet is right if all you look at is logic. However, love can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. I hope for both their sakes that they succeed. Louise will have a good life anyway, but for Lea … Louise is her only hope. My heart aches and hopes for them as they go forward.
    I met Dr. Bob Miller, DVM, via a mutual friend and went to a few of his seminars. Ya know he made imprinting foals a farily common practice in the breeding and raising of horses. Revolutionized training. But, he is an animal behaviorist in the general sense and has THEE most amazing stories about LOVE between animals and their owners. The most amazing is the incredible bond between an alligator and a little old lady. LOVE is absolutely the most powerful force in the universe and SOMEtimes it melts and then molds the word impossible into a new word … MIRACLE. :o) You Go Louise.

  4. Roy Chance says:

    This story has special meaning for me because I have a lot of love for, and fond memories with, these two girls. There is a certain irony in this photo in that Louise’s sighted eyes are closed while Lea’s unsighted eyes are open. Thus, in this photo, they are on equal footing and are communicating through the touch of Louise’s hands and their faces… Those subtleties may go unnoticed to the casual observer, but knowing the whole story and being so close to the subjects makes it very meaningful to me. Though this is heart-breaking, I couldn’t be more proud of Lou and her determination to stand by Lea.

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