Miniature horses are becoming more and more popular in the guide animal community. Many blind people are choosing them over dogs. The little equines have several advantages over the more traditional competition. Dogs have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. A guidee has to go through several dogs throughout his or her life, and since any guide animal is expensive to train, that comes to a quite large expenditure. A miniature horse has a lifespan of 30 to 40 years, so that horse and human can expect a lifelong relationship for both parties.
And unlike dogs, horses do not get distracted by other dogs, small chaseable animals, human attention, food, or random smells. A horse will not feel compelled to lick, sniff, chase, mark or eat while on duty. Horses are easily trained to become desensitized to environmental noise. Horses are always on the alert for danger, unlike dogs who have a predator’s natural confidence. Horses are highly skilled at avoiding hazards, and finding safe and efficient routes. Contrary to popular belief, horses can be housebroken.
On the other hand, horses are bulkier than dogs, eat more, relieve themselves more frequently and may attract unwanted attention from passerby. Because their little hooves can cause damage to floors, many of them wear adorable little shoes.
You may think miniature horses are stubbular and fuzzy like these guys…
…some miniaure horses are sleek, elegant smaller versions of fancy big horses.
Putting it all in perspective