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  Guide Horse Foundation         

The Guide Horse Foundation
Guide Horse Foundation

A non-profit charity dedicated to providing free guides for visually impaired individuals.


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Helping Hooves
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

Airline requires potty pads for guide animals

For the latest in miniature horse headlines visit:

In this article we see a major airline requiring absorbent pads for guide animals flying on Virgin airlines:,8112,3-11369976,00.html

In this case, it appears that an airline employee assumed that the guide animal did not have sufficient bladder control and required a pad to allow the guide dog to urinate inside the cabin:

"They didn't tell me I needed one (when I booked) and (at the airport) wouldn't tell me where I could buy one," Mrs Stewart said. "I started to cry, which is really embarrassing for me because I wanted to stay calm and resolve the situation."

She was also refused a refund so she could pay for a flight on another airline.

Guide Horses are completely housebroken but only have bladder control for about six hours, meaning that flights on more than about four hours may be uncomfortable for the Guide Horse.

In the USA, FAA regulations require any guide animals traveling on a commercial airliner to not present any health or safety hazard, and it has always been the policy of the Guide Horse Foundation never to allow a Guide Horse to relieve themselves aboard a commercial airliner.

Evidently this is also the official policy of Virgin airlines, as noted in the article:

Virgin Blue spokesman David Huttner told The Courier-Mail yesterday that staff did not follow proper procedure. An apology would be given to the Stewarts.

"(Staff) didn't handle today particularly well. We will look at our training procedures," Mr Huttner said.

He would not reveal if any discipline would be taken against the employee until he had been briefed by his superiors today. The Stewarts' money had since been refunded and a credit would be also given to them, he said.

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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 $27.95

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Only $19.95

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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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Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,2002,2003 by the Guide Horse Foundation Inc. 

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.