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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

Saving Lil Orphan Annie

For the latest in miniature horse headlines visit:

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 optimistic.

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 colostrum and Dr. Chris O'Malley inserted a feeding tube.

The 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 babies.


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 Foallac (an artificial mares milk) and we are all hopeful that Lil Annie will survive.

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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Helping Hooves

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

Janet Burleson
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.




  • 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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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.