Mounted Shooting Horse Pictures

Pictures of a Blind Horse

Maggie and Ward

Riding photos of a horse in Gainesville, FL. Shelly Williams Photography

Meet Maggie and Ward! They are the coolest pair, I was so excited to take mounted shooting horse pictures, but not only did I get to photograph one new discipline, I also got to take pictures of a blind horse! When I first met Maggie several months back, I was immediately intrigued when she started talking about Ward. At that time, he had recently lost his second eye. Yes, that’s right, this horse isn’t only blind, but he doesn’t have eyes at all. On top of the blindness issue, Maggie also told me that she does mounted shooting on him. WHAT!? Mounted shooting is not something that just any horse is able to do. It’s loud and fast, not really a good combination for horses who are naturally fight or flight animals. Mounted shooting takes a lot of time to dedicate to desensitizing the horse, but also a lot of practice on the riders end. You have to be able to ride one handed, gallop, and still manage to make your target. Like I mentioned, it’s not something that any horse can do. That’s why when you pair a blind horse with it… well to be honest I just didn’t think it was possible! Then I met Ward.

To say I’m honored to have taken mounted shooting horse pictures of Ward is an understatement. I’m not sure why he hasn’t been recognized yet because he’s truly a magnificent horse. He was the most well behaved horse I have ever photographed, do I need to remind you that he’s blind again? He stood patiently, not tied, while getting groomed. He stood patiently while taking photos. Then Maggie asked if she could take some without a halter on at all. No neck rope, nothing! My response “Sure, if you’re not worried about him getting loose,” And so the halter comes off, and Ward continues to stand there patiently. Not to mention that he posed for all of the photos, his ears were always perky!

Ward and Maggie have this bond that is remarkable. Ward’s so intuitive to where Maggie is and what she is asking of him. Honestly, if you didn’t know he didn’t have eyes, you would have no clue that he wasn’t a normal horse with all of his senses. Ward is a once in a lifetime horse. Maggie showed him at the Appaloosa World Show before his blindness, and started mounted shooting when he lost the first eye. Ward is full of personality and loves rubs of any kind, but especially in his eye sockets! He also loves his donkey pal who is his pasture mate.

Maggie, thank you so much for letting me document the relationship between you two!

If you want to keep up with Ward and his shenanigans, you can follow his Facebook page here or his Instagram @WardTheWonder


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Horse and Rider

Maggie and Ward – Equine