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Assistance Animals - The Seeing Eye Horse
 By Artista   •   12th Apr 2011   •   17,543 views   •   22 comments
You might have heard of seeing eye dogs before, but what about a seeing eye horse?

The Seeing Eye HorseSeeing Eye horses (Also called Assistance Animals, Guide Ponies, etc.) aren't a huge trend in the world of assistance animals, but in special cases, they do exist. Just like seeing eye dogs are trained to assist their blind handlers, these miniature horses and ponies are trained to do the same thing.

The reasons seeing eye horses are used instead of dogs are numerous. In some cases, such as in the Muslim religion, where dogs are "forbidden" horses make the ideal substitute for blind handlers. For others, the horses provide more stability than even the largest of dogs, and they have a tenancy to be less cumbersome. Also, because a horses range of vision is much wider than a dogs, they tend to make ideal candidates for handlers who have a more severe (or total) loss of vision.

Assistance animals come in many shapes and sizes. Working as a trainer, I have seen everything from Capuchin monkeys to Bengal cats and beyond. Dogs still tend to make the best choice because of their high trainability and public acceptance, but miniature horses are gaining popularity. They are outfitted with special boots to hep them grip on slippery floors (and so they don't scratch the expensive floors of some building) and trained to do everything from load quietly into a car, tolerate airplane rides, close and open doors, turn off lights, and in some cases, can be trained on special phones to dial 911 in case their handler is in distress.

Always remember to respect service animals when you see them in public places. Never call them to you, offer to feed, pet, or play with them. They are working to help someone with a disability, and do their jobs best when they can focus!
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Soul Horse  
That is so cute my dad saw one of them once, great job of informing us artista!
  Apr 12, 2011  •  9,642 views
 
ImaCoolCowgirl  
I was going to do an article on this but you beat me to it!! Nice job. Another thing about them is they don't naturally crave human attention as dogs do. Also they can understand and learn some where around 105 words (if I remember from when I did research on them). The only down side to them is its hard for them to be inside 24 7 because of the strain on their repiratory system. Another thing his they are not independendt like dogs and they often need a buddy wether it be a goat, cat, sheep, or another mini.
  Apr 12, 2011  •  10,184 views
 
Stay Untamed  
Good article!
  Apr 12, 2011  •  9,652 views
 
MoMoz  
Awww!!!! I have heard of Assistance ponies before! Now I want one... haha! If I were blind, I would definitely pick one over a dog!!
  Apr 12, 2011  •  9,648 views
 
SkysTheLimit  
that is really good that there are horses in training for that job it is amaizing
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,216 views
 
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Oh I have seen these kinds of horses on a show on Animal Planet, they are just the cutest things :)
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,183 views
 
Isadorable  
Cute! Great explination!!
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,201 views
 
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Great article ! Learned a lot. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a seeing eye horse. I've only heard of dogs doing that
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,216 views
 
Spyricale  
Awesome article. ^^

I've seen a few service dogs in stores and such. My mom always told me since I was little not to pet strange dogs, so I left them alone anyway. I found out a couple of years ago about seeing-eye horses. I think they are just super adorable!

MoMoz, I would pick a horse as well over a dog. Definitely! :D

I always bugs me when mothers let their kids pet and feed seeing-eye dogs while they're trying to concentrate on helping their owner. Gah.
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,183 views
 
T E M P E S T  
Cool, i heard a story on the radio once of a monkey being an assistance animal.
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,218 views
 
Untamed Heart  
If I go blind for some reason I want a horse/pony instead of a dog!
  Apr 13, 2011  •  10,201 views
 
Valkyrie  MOD 
0_0 I must try this with my girls! *rushes outside to attempt, comes back inside covered in bruises* Little brats only watch out for themselves ...

Haha. This is such an awesome thing, I remember reading about it a little while ago somewhere. That mini is so gorgeous.
  Apr 14, 2011  •  10,185 views
 
Softball Girl  
That is soooooooooooooooo cool!!
  Apr 14, 2011  •  10,204 views
 
T W I  
Awww, what a cute photos! Up until I read this article I had no idea that horses could be (Or were allowed to be) used as service animals. Fascinating!
  Apr 14, 2011  •  10,243 views
 
athea  
OMG that pony is super cute!
  Apr 19, 2011  •  10,372 views
 
Depplain  
That's incredible!
  Apr 28, 2011  •  10,388 views
 
SkysTheLimit  
i like them a bit better than dogs
  Apr 29, 2011  •  10,225 views
 
Pintie  
So awesome :)
  May 2, 2011  •  10,199 views
 
My Paper Heart  
thats cool!!!!!
  May 3, 2011  •  10,183 views
 
Simplicity  
They are cute little ponies!!
  May 7, 2011  •  10,181 views
 
Little Bitty Farm  
Good article!
  May 9, 2011  •  10,223 views
 
Seven Sins  
great article, they are so cute
  Jun 1, 2011  •  10,202 views
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