Horse forges rare friendship with blind mare

September 6, 2013 6:24:18 PM PDT
The special relationship between two horses is proving to be a huge boost for an equine rescue organization in North Carolina.

A video posted online shows a 25-year-old mare named Sugar Bear opening the stall door next to hers; it's the one belonging to a 2-year-old horse named Luna, who's blind.

At first volunteers for the rescue operation where the horses live thought it was just a fluke, but it kept happening every morning and evening at meal time, with Sugar Bear then promptly leaving and heading into her own stall to eat.

Volunteers say the two mares are inseparable.

"She works the same way a guide dog works for a blind person," one volunteer said. "Luna just follows her around knowing she's safe as long as she's with her."

Another volunteer added, "It's that she just keeps her calm. That's pretty much what she does. We thought it was meant that she came to us so we could help her. In hindsight, she came to us, so she could help us."

The non-profit Helping Hands Hearts and Hooves rescued both horses in the same week in May and Director Tina Hendrix says Sugar Bear calms Luna down.

Hendrix said the organization took Luna after she was auctioned to a kill farm but could not be loaded into the trailer. Months ago the young horse was excitable, nervous in confined spaces and scared of rain and thunderstorms. Hendrix says now, when it rains, she stays next to Sugar Bear.

The horse rescue operation called began a year ago. It's still struggling, but the friendship between two mares is helping the non-profit grow and make ends meet.


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