Miniature Horses as Guide Animals

Most people think of guide animals and think of dogs. But what many people haven't given a thought to, is the possibility of using miniature horses for guide animals.

The amount of people who use horses as guide animals has been on the rise since 1999. Not only would having a miniature horse be cute looking, but there are several benefits to having a horse as a guide as well.

First of all, some people are allergic to dogs so they are a great option for those people who can't be around dogs but need some sort of guidance. Another perk of a miniature guide horse is that they have a longer life span than dogs which allows a person to not worry about getting a new dog so quickly.

There are several candidates who are more ideal for receiving a miniature horse over others. These include:

  • Horse enthusiasts who have a better understanding of horses and their behavior.
  • Those who are allergic to dogs and need some guidance.
  • Mature individuals who have a difficult time dealing with the loss of an animal will be more ideal because of a horses longer lifespan.
  • The physically disabled who will find a horse easier to handle than a traditional guide animal.

Horses are sturdy which would allow them to help a disabled person out of a chair if necessary and the other option of having the horse live outdoors if necessary.

When one is curious about why they would even consider having a horse as a guide, they should take one major factor into mind. Horses have a natural instinct to guide. If one horse in a herd becomes blind or has any other sight problem, another horse from the herd will take on the responsibility of helping that horse find their way along the path.

Another major factor that makes miniature horses ideal guides is that they are cost effective. With a price tag of several thousand dollars to train a guide animal, the long lifespan of horses makes this price worthwhile. With a dog's lifespan of only seven or eight years, a horse beats this timeframe out by living anywhere between thirty and forty years.

Being more accepted in public places is another benefit due to the fact that people tend to see horses as more of a service animal than a pet versus a dog.

Guides must be able to handle intense situations well an example of how horses can handle situations like this include riot horses used by the police. When training a guide horse, trainers are sure to use the same techniques that the horses training for police work receive.

Another big feature of horses is that they have much better vision than dogs do. With nearly 350 degrees of vision, they are the only animal capable of moving individual eyes and can see clearly in total darkness.

While dogs are effective guides, there are many other reasons for why a person would want to choose to have a miniature guide horse other than a dog.