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free guides for visually impaired individuals.
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Saving Lil Orphan Annie
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The Guide Horse Foundation runs a horse rescue for
crippled and deformed dwarf horses, and I'm happy to report that our
altruism is catching-on.
Penny came to work
yesterday with an adorable 4 day-old orphan foal that she has named
"Lil Orphan Annie". Penny was reluctant to name her because we
are not sure that she will survive, but I'm glad that she is being
Annie was near-death when her owner brought her to
Penny. Annie's mother died after giving birth to Annie a month
early (due to a bad dystocia "nape
presentation", and Annie had never eaten. She was weak and
barely alive, and Penny is her only chance for survival.
||Annie went to the O'Malley's new horse
hospital where she got some
Dr. Chris O'Malley inserted a feeding tube.
must be removed in 3 days, so Penny must get her to nurse
soon if she is going to survive
Penny milked her own mini-mares and also gave
Annie some goat colostrum. Lil Annie must be fed every hour,
on the hour, and Penny is bleary-eyed from lack of sleep.
Everyone at the ranch has fallen in love with Annie, and she is a
real doll. Being a preemie, she still curls-up in a fetal
position when sleeping.
||Penny's immediate challenge is to encourage her sucking
reflex so that she will be able to nurse from a bottle, or
preferably one of her lactating mares.
Foals have an
innate sucking reflex similar to the Babcock reflex in human
You have to admire Penny's devotion and dedication
to this tiny baby. How many people would sacrifice sleep to
wake-up every hour to feed a sick baby? Penny has a stock of
(an artificial mares milk) and we are all hopeful that Lil Annie
|I'm very proud of Penny and her
devotion to this sick baby.
Annie made some progress today
and drank some water from a bucket, but Penny's challenge is
to get her sucking reflex going. We have one extremely
maternal dwarf mare (Bluebell) who will lactate and nurse an
orphan, so we are hopeful that we can get Annie a new Mommy.
In the meantime, Penny walks around dazed from sleep
deprivation, but confident that she is doing everything
possible to save this darling baby.
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The Guide Horse
Training Program to Train Miniature Horses as Guide Animals for
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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.
author royalties are being donated to help support the Guide Horse Foundation.
is one of the world's pioneering horse trainers
– USA Today
Janet and Don
Burleson are . . . Angels
– People Magazine
that Janet and Don Burleson have initiated this valuable
experimental program teaming miniature horses with blind people
are leading the way for the blind
– ABC News
Guide Horses .
. . are as small and disciplined as Guide Dogs
– TIME Magazine
It is often the
little things that win our hearts and minds
– ABC News
are . . . using horse sense to Guide
Twinkie proved that
miniature horses could fill the role, and fill it well
– VetCentric Magazine
- Discovery Channel
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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.