I was fascinated to learn about the idea of a guide horse foundation! Many people are familiar with the works of guide dogs, but perhaps less so that there are horses that also fill this role. Or perhaps I should say, miniature horses!
The mission of the guide horse foundation is:
…to provide a safe, cost-effective and reliable mobility alternative for visually impaired people. The Guide Horse Foundation is committed to delivering Guide Horses at no cost to the blind, relying on un-paid volunteers and charitable donations to pay all travel and housing expenses for the blind handler’s on-site training.
Founded back in 1999, the Guide Horse Foundation was initially an experimental program. The idea was to assess whether or not miniature horses could be used as assistance animals to those who are visually impaired.
For those who need an animal to assist them, it is great to know there is an alternative. Perhaps for the visually impaired person who also happens to be a horse lover. Or perhaps for the blind person who is allergic to dogs. The fact that horses live longer than dogs has also been listed as a reason why they may be chosen over dogs as a guide.
According to the Guide Horse Foundation website, 27% of people surveyed internationally indicated that they would choose a Guide Horse if they were in need of such assistance.
For those who love the idea of training horses, perhaps this niche area pulls at you! Taking on the training of miniature horses can benefit the local community. It’s a great chance to train horses to go on and do something extraordinary for others in need. You can train horses but also be helping people who are visually impaired. What a great cause!
‘Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls, they give us hope.’ ― Toni Robinson