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Dogs Aren’t the Only Service Animal

Did you know that there’s a new trend in the service animal industry? Miniature horses may be even better partners for the disabled than dogs are.

GuideHorse.org lists some of the advantages of miniature horses as guide animals. For example, miniature horses have life spans that are twice as long as dogs.

They may also be easier for people to recognize as a service animal.

Many guide dog users report problems getting access to public places because their dog is perceived as a pet. Most people do not associate a horse as a pet, and Guide Horse users report they are immediately recognized as a working service animal.

Miniature horses are also focused, calm, and intelligent. They have all of the stamina that their larger cousins are known for. Guide Horse also mentions that miniature horses are naturally safety conscious and are not prone to distraction. They can also be trained to pick up objects and hand them over to their person.

And don’t worry, miniature horses can be house broken. They also travel well, even in vehicles or airplanes. Sometimes they need special shoes to navigate some indoor environments: a horse version of sneakers that they adapt to rather nicely.

Many states have begun to expand their service animal laws to specifically include miniature horses. One Minnesota lawyer pointed out that federal law never limited service animals to dogs. Instead, the criteria was always that the service animal had to perform clear duties for the disabled person and that the animal had to receive specialized service animal training.

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