Guide Horse Foundation         

The Guide Horse Foundation
Guide Horse Foundation

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



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"Helping Hooves, the Guidehorse Story"

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Guidehorse Newsletter!
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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


 Guide Horse Users offer Feedback

With the Guide Horse experiment entering its fifth year, the Guide Horse Foundation has been carefully tracking the experiences on Guide Horse Users.  To date, Guide horses have shown exceptional intelligence, judgment and the ability to keep their handlers safe in challenging situations. 
Dan Shaw, our first Guide Horse user has been performing exceptionally well with Cuddles and Dan reports that Cuddles is only improving with use. 

Initial reports indicate that a Guide Horse can be cost-effective alternative to traditional guides and help fill the critical shortage of animal guides.  According to Lighthouse International, there are more than 1.3 million legally blind people in the USA, yet only 7,000 guide animal users.

There is also an issue of high expense.  According to the Guide Dog Users national advocacy group, training a guide dog can cost up to $60,000. With a longer useful life, Guide Horses promise another option for the visually disabled.

Dan and Cuddles will become the world's longest working guide team in 2015 when they enter their fifteenth year together, and they are expected to be able to work as a team for more than 30 years.

According to Dan Shaw: "Cuddles and I were at an outdoor fair and standing next to a large tent.  The wind picked up and Cuddles sensed that the tent was going to collapse, and she insisted that we move away to a safe distance.  Just seconds later a large tent beam crashed into the spot we were standing.  She saved me from serious injury that day."

Ann Edie, an independent Guide Horse user reports great success with her Guide horse: "My conclusion at this point in the process, however, is emphatically that Panda is a delightful companion and a fully competent and dependable working guide.  It is a joy to travel with her, and I can completely rely on our  effective communication and joint decisions to get us to our travel destinations safely and efficiently."

At this point in the experiment, the Guide Horse Foundation has been successful in developing a complete training program.  Now that Dan and Cuddles have been operational for three years, the Guide Horse Foundation is planning to move forward with two more teams in late 2003.







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Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,2002,2003 by the Guide Horse Foundation Inc. 

Guide Horse ® is a registered trademark of the Guide Horse Foundation Inc.

Now you can read the book that tells the story of the development of the Guide Horse training program! Learn the techniques used to train a reliable, safe service horse.







Helping Hooves

The Guide Horse Foundation Training Program to Train  Miniature Horses  as Guide Animals for the Blind


Janet Burleson
Retail Price $29.95

Order this book now and get 20% off the retail price!


Only $23.99

Buy Now!


Read the compelling story of the first miniature horse trained to work as a guide horse. Learn the exciting methods used to prepare the tiny horses to perform these amazing services.


A portion of the proceeds from sales will benefit the Guide Horse Foundation.






Janet Burleson is one of the world's pioneering horse trainers – Practical Horseman Magazine


Seeing is believing – USA Today


Janet and Don Burleson are  . . . Angels – People Magazine


How wonderful that Janet and Don Burleson have initiated this valuable experimental program teaming miniature horses with blind people – Newsweek


Miniature ponies are leading the way for the blind – ABC News


Guide Horses  . . . are as small and disciplined as Guide Dogs – TIME Magazine


Extraordinary – ABC 20/20


It is often the little things that win our hearts and minds – ABC News


The Burleson’s are . . . using horse sense to Guide – Boston Globe


Twinkie proved that miniature horses could fill the role, and fill it well – VetCentric Magazine


An Intriguing Program - Discovery Channel




About the Author:


Janet Burleson


Don and Janet Burleson - Copyright 2000 by Lisa Carpenter

  Janet Burleson is the pioneering horse trainer that developed the Guide horse training program. As a lifelong horse training enthusiast, Janet Burleson has experimented with hundreds of horse behavior challenges.  With four decades of horse teaching experience, read how she trained Twinkie, the prototype first experimental Guide horse for the blind and Cuddles  the first Guide horse to enter full time service as a guide animal for Dan Shaw.





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. 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.