Beautiful story! February 5, 2015 12:50
MEET THE ACCOMPLISHED DRESSAGE STALLION "HUGIN", AGE 29, BLIND FOR 15 YEARS AND A SURVIVOR OF THREE BROKEN LEGS: When Danish dressage trainer Bent Branderup first met the 2-year-old Knabstrupper stallion named Hugin in 1988, he recognized something special in him. Together they trained in classical dressage and in 1991, Hugin proved Bent correct in his assessment when the horse was named Premium Champion Stallion of the Year in Denmark. Then catastrophe struck . . . Hugin was critically injured in a breeding accident, fracturing both rear femurs and a front splint bone. Most owners would have accepted the veterinarian's recommendation of humane euthanasia, but not Bent Branderup. He worked through the many years of healing with Hugin, gradually introducing dressage work to stretch and build muscle to support the injured bones. Against all odds, Hugin made a complete recovery, and back to full-time dressage training they went.
Almost unbelievably, tragedy struck yet again in 1996 when Hugin lost his vision completely, in both eyes. But, as you may have already guessed, Bent did not give up on the stallion. They continued training, using dressage to rebuild Hugin's confidence in himself and the world he could no longer see . . . and to this day Hugin and Bent still enjoy their dressage work, always perfecting movements and working toward an ever-higher goal.
Hugin never recovered his sight, but with the eyes of his companion Bent guiding the way, the horse has surpassed all expectations of living a fulfilled life. By anyone's standards, Hugin has accomplished the impossible dream. And Hugin is not the only one fulfilled by the experience. Bent says "Through Hugin, I learned not to use the horse for dressage, but to use dressage for the horse."
Watch this heartwarming video of Bent and Hugin performing haute ecole in-hand, on Hugin's 25th birthday! http://youtu.be/PDIPPQVw8dA
Read more about Bent and Hugin here: