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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


Woman wins in Dressage with blind horse

For the latest in miniature horse headlines visit: http://www.guidehorse.com/law_n_news.htm

In this article we see the compelling story of Valiant and his owner Marilyn Fallon.  Valiant is a horse that carried her to a dressage championship despite being totally blind:

Here we see that the owner of Valiant decides not to let blindness stop her horse:

Valiant was healthy in every way except he couldn’t see, but I could. How could one even conceive of discarding such a wonderful, vibrant animal. I went through this thought discovery process in my mind then I felt for the first time in my life, the universe was presenting me with a very serious decision and opportunity.

I wiped the tears away and decided the only solution was to train and ride him. Upon leaving the hospital after the diagnosis, the doctors asked me what I was going to do with Valiant. I told them, "Train him to the highest level of dressage that I possibly can." I’m sure they all thought I was crazy but wished us well.

In this inspiration success story we note that Valiant did indeed compete successfully in Dressage:

I didn’t feel overwhelmed, just completely focused on him. We were there to do the best we could and we did. Valiant listened to me the whole test. It was the best test of my life even if it was only a 53.07%!

After the final salute, the judge stood up and asked me if he was blind in one eye. I said, "No, he’s blind in both eyes." She nearly fell off the platform and said it was truly remarkable what he’s doing and wished us the best of luck in the future. I received nothing but incredible support from our dressage community.

This heartwarming story reminds me that it works both ways.  Just as a blind person can use a sighted horse, a sighted trainer can successfully guide a blind horse.


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Helping Hooves

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

Janet Burleson
ISBN
Retail Price $34.95

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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.

 

All author royalties are being donated to help support the Guide Horse Foundation.

 

Quotes:

 

  • 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

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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.