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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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Training Guide Horses for the Blind

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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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By ADAM MILLER  (c) 2001 by The New York Post

Dan Shaw enjoys a meal with his tiny, sneaker-wearing "seeing-eye" horse, Cuddles.
- Associated Press

June 13, 2001 -- It's enough to make even the most jaded Big Apple straphanger do a double take: a miniature horse in sneakers on the subway.

And the diminutive filly isn't just any horse - she's the world's first "seeing-eye" horse.

The Big Apple was the final exam in Cuddles' training to become the constant companion and guide for Dan Shaw, a 45-year-old blind man.

"We were all over Manhattan, finishing our training," said Shaw, a bait-shop owner from Ellsworth, Maine, who suffers from a degenerative eye disease.

"We rode the subways everywhere and walked all the streets," Shaw told The Post yesterday.

He said the two-day romp with his 55-pound, 19-month-old yellow pygmy pony late last month was no problem.

"It was really great practice for us because the city is so busy," said the married father of four.

Shaw had balked at getting a seeing-eye dog, saying he could not bear the thought of losing an animal he would have grown to love when it dies.

Guide dogs live eight to 10 years, while horses can live for 35 years or longer.

Shaw met Cuddles in March, and after two months of training together, he brought the horse home.

Horses are excellent guides because of their longevity, excellent peripheral vision, good memory and instinctive caution.


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  Helping Hooves
Training Miniature Horses as Guide Animals for the Blind

Janet Burleson

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Copyright © 1998 - 2017 by the Guide Horse Foundation

Guide Horse ® Guidehorse ®  and Helping Hooves ® are registered trademarks.


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.