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The Guide Horse Foundation
Guide Horse Foundation

A non-profit charity dedicated to providing free guides for visually impaired individuals.

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Patricia Cornwell with Trip, one of the horses she donated to the guide Horse Foundation

Patricia Cornwell with Trip

Don and Janet Burleson - Copyright 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

Copyright © 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

Dan with Cuddles - Copyright (c) 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald
Copyright © 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald

Cuddles in Harness - Copyright (c) 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald

Copyright © 2001 by Cathleen MacDonald

Don and Janet with Trip and Ras

Copyright © 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

Cuddles on the first flight of a horse on a commercial flight

Copyright © 2001 by Erik Lesser
The worlds first horse to fly in the passenger cabin

Cuddles guiding Dan Shaw

Copyright © 2001 by Erik Lesser

Cuddles at Lunch

Copyright © 2001 by Erik Lesser

Copyright © 2001 by Wiley Miller



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Ponies to guide the blind
Guide horses can live three times longer than dogs

Shetland ponies are being trained to help people who are blind or partially sighted.

The ponies, which are only slightly bigger than dogs, could have a longer working life than labradors and may also have a better memory.

And a centre in England is already half way through a training schedule for a 27-inches-tall pony named Rosie.

Janine Martin says Rosie is completely house trained and may make a better guide for a blind person than the traditional dog.

Ms Martin said: "Horses have a fantastic long term memory and will remember commands for decades afterwards."

Cheaper to train

The guide pony concept was pioneered in America in 1999 where ponies have been trained to climb escalators and accompany owners on airplanes.

"It does take longer to train a horse, but the guide horse can live between 20 and 30 years."

Dan Vale, of the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB), said: "If it was proven that this was a good way of helping blind or partially sighted people get around, we would welcome it.

"But we would want a lot of investment and research first."

RNIB says it costs £35,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog, while it only costs £10,000 to train a pony.

Ms Martin said: "It does take longer to train a horse, but the guide horse can live between 20 and 30 years."

She said the first person to benefit will be 12-year-old Josh Brown, who is helping to train Rosie.

Cuddles, the first guide pony in America, has negotiated the New York subway and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Guide Horses UK wants to introduce more guide ponies and is raising money by sponsorship or donations.



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Janet Burleson

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The Guide Horse Foundation has the utmost respect for The Seeing Eye® and their seventy-two years of outstanding work with assistance animals for the blind. Even though the press often calls our horses "seeing eye horses", please note that The Guide Horse Foundation is not affiliated with or sanctioned by the Seeing-Eye® or any of the Guide Dog training organizations. Seeing-Eye® is a registered trademark of the Seeing-Eye, Inc.

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