|A beautiful little mini horse named Confetti, has flown on a plane with her blind owner, cruised on a
boat down a river and enjoyed the music at a rock concert. This was made possible by recent
federal guidelines that permit the use of mini horses for those with disabilities.
Its Now Legal to Take Mini Horses into a Restaurant, an Airplane, or into the Classroom
The new Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines allows mini horses trained as guide horses to be
granted the same access rights as those granted to guide dogs.
Below, Confetti wears a harness which is grasped by her owner. She helps her blind owner navigate
busy streets, enter restaurants and fund the way through crowded malls. When the owner nears a
high curb, Confetti stops short letting her owner know of the obstacle. Her owner chuckled as he
retold how Confetti “swiped” an apple from the fruit case in a market. When her owner realized
that she was eating something, he bought it for her to enjoy.
Miniature guide horses are being used as an alternative to guide
dogs to help blind and disabled people to live independently.
They are companions and helpers, and restore love between them.
Mini horses are roughly 2 feet tall at the shoulder, live to age 35
and they come equipped with a good memory, excellent night vision
and you can get absurdly cute sneakers to provide traction indoors.
Says Dan Shaw, 44, of Ellsworth, Maine, who will receive the world's first guide horse, Cuddles, in
But perhaps the greatest advantage is the ponies' 25- to May: "Instead of going through three or
four guide dogs in my lifetime, I'll get to stick with one animal."
Miniature horses are easily trained to paw at the door when nature calls, recognize signal lights,
stop signs, and to signal when there are changes in elevation (such as steps and curbs). They can
also recognize hazards like overhanging branches or a potholes, and they only need a small backyard,
where they become "wonderful little lawn mowers."
Cuddles, a miniature seeing-eye horse, was taken on board an American Airlines flight from Boston
to Chicago. Cuddles and her owner, Dan Shaw, a blind Maine man who relies on the horse to help him
Miniature Horses Are Great Disability Aids
In photo above, Dan and Cuddles are on their way to the Windy City to do the "Oprah
Cuddles is house-broken, loving, obedient, smart, and trained to lead her owner safely anywhere he
needs to go.
Miniature guide horse trainers are demonstrating how focused miniature horses are in their work.
They are trained to pull wheelchairs, enter buses, and use escalators.
Terry, 17, of Ollala, Washington, has cerebral palsy, and is thrilled to have a miniature horse named
Ra, who assists Terry through his day.