Every so often you see and a horse and rider that raise the bar on what you think is possible. This year Pip and I got to meet two inspiring new friends on our roadtrip to the Haras Cup in Magnolia, Texas, Endo the Blind and Morgan Wagner. These two travel the country competing successfully in working equitation, performing tricks, and developing their skills, and Endo is completely blind.
Yes, that’s right. Endo has NO eyes. In 2012 he had to have one and then the other eye removed by his vet due to complications from Uveitis (also known as moon blindness). This might have been a life ending event, but for Morgan and Endo it was just a new chapter in their story together.
After Endo adjusted to life without his eyes, and also life without pain from his eyes, he and Morgan continued their training together as usual. Endo knows over 100 vocal commands and is out there taking names at the Intermediate level in Working Equitation. You can read more about their story on Horse Nation and follow their everyday interactions on Endo’s Facebook page, here.
Not only did Pip and Endo hit it off on their trip, we discovered that they are the same age, born in the same month, and that Morgan and I are both the same age. Also, we both have worked with our horses since they were born. It was neat to watch Endo recognize Pip by sight or smell; he doesn’t need his eyes to know who’s who.
Even when you tell people that Endo doesn’t have eyes, they don’t always believe it until they see it for themselves. I watched more than one person do a double take in disbelief when they noticed Endo’s lack of eyes. He moves confidently through the world using his other senses and Morgan’s guidance. He is well-mannered, personable, and extremely trained–watching him perform from afar you would not guess he cannot see. Morgan dedicates much of her time and energy to caring for this one-of-a-kind horse, and their commitment to one another is undeniable.
If you want to donate to help cover Endo and Morgan’s training and show expenses, you can do so through the GoFundMe account created for them by Julie Alonzo. They travel throughout the country performing, competing, and inspiring others.
Pip will be performing with Endo at the Washington State Horse Expo this February 19-21, 2016 during the working equitation demos each day and the Saturday night Extravaganza. We hope to see you there!