Say Neigh to Seeing Eye DogsBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 8, 2010
The Guide Horse Foundation, a nonprofit group, trains Miniature Horses to act as guide animals for blind or sight-impaired people. The Minis spend six to twelve months learning to maneuver through city sidewalks and streets, ride on buses and elevators, and spend hours indoors.
Although Foundation personnel estimate that only about 1% of Minis have the perfect temperament to be guide animals, performance of the graduates compares well with their better-known canine counterparts, and the tiny equines have advantages such as a longer working life.
Guide horses are an option for people who are afraid of or allergic to dogs or who prefer not to keep a guide animal in the house. More information is available from The Guide Horse Foundation, PO Box 511, Kittrell, NC27544.