In anticipation of the Salute to Horse Heroes, Breyer is featuring real Horse Heroes. This week we are getting to know Nipper! Make sure you order your BreyerFest Tickets today. Click here!
Nipper retired from the mounted patrol unit in Richmond, Indiana because of her cataracts interfering with her eyesight. Luckily, Nipper has found a second career at the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Center.
When Nipper first arrived she was used in 4-H barrel racing and other competitions and turning in spectacular performances consistently. People at Sunrise had not noticed she had trouble seeing, it was only when she started bumping into things around the barn that her eyes were checked. After an eye exam, vets reported that Nipper had lost 75% of her vision in both eyes.
As of today, Nipper is almost completely blind and is only able to see some movements and shadows. Despite not being able to see, Nipper is still used in Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Center's program, ridden by Sarah. Sarah has autism and has developed a special relationship with Nipper.
Nipper with Sarah
"Having a regular rider seems to have helped her [Nipper] with more confidence in the herd and by herself. Due to her blindness, she is constantly bumping into things or getting picked on by the other herd members, but she has started to defend herself" Sarah explained.
Although Sarah is Nipper's regular rider, she is also used in group lessons where volunteers or staff members lead the horses. One unique characteristic of Nipper is she often whinnies to other horses in the ring while being ridden, causing her riders to laugh.
To learn more about Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Center, located in Richmond, IN, people can check out our Facebook page, Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Center or visit our website,www.sunriseinc.org.
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