Signs don’t matter when the on-duty service animal is too cute for words. In Louisburg, North Carolina, Tonto (a “seeing-eye” miniature horse) learns restaurant etiquette from his trainers.
Why use a horse instead of a dog? For one, horses have eyes on the sides of their heads, with a range of nearly 350 degrees. Horses can also see clearly in almost total darkness. According to The Guide Horse Foundation, the ideal Guide Horse owner includes:
- Horse lovers – Blind people who have grown up with horses and understand equine behavior and care are ideal candidates.
- Allergenic people – Many people who are severely allergic to traditional guide animals and find horses a non-allergenic alternative for mobility. Horses do not get fleas and only shed twice per year.
- Mature Individuals – Many people report difficulty dealing with the grief of losing their animals, and horses tend to live far longer than traditional guides, up to fifty years.
- Physically Disabled folks – Because of their docile nature, Guide Horses are easier to handle for individuals with physical disabilities. They are also strong enough to provide support, helping the handler to rise from their chair.
- Dog Phobia – Individuals who fear dogs are often comfortable working with a tiny horse.
- Outdoor Animal – Many individuals prefer a guide animal that does not have to live in the house when off duty
- Attention Horse: Horses are not addicted to human affection and will stand quietly when on duty.