First up: Illinois may legally allow miniature horses to act in the same capacities as guide dogs.
Yeah, in case you weren't aware, this is a thing. Some disabled people really do have minis as "seeing eye horses." These include a few rare cases of Muslims whose religion prevents them from having dogs, people with severe dog allergies, and those who are afraid of dogs...but mostly, I think people have tried this because they thought it would be neat. Awww, how cute-- and what a terrible idea! I have umpteen objections to this, but the main one is: horses are prey animals! Even the best-trained ones tend to spook, shy and bolt at sudden noises or fast-moving objects. So who thought it was a good idea to let them guide blind people across busy city streets?! Not these guys. Other objections include:
- It's much less natural for a horse to be indoors most of the time.
- Equines are much more easily stressed by noises, changes in routine, etc, to the point of illness.
- Horses have major trouble with depth perception because their eyes are on the sides of their faces.
- Horses have major problems going down stairs, curling up in cars or squeezing under tables.
- Horses need to eat and poop more often than dogs.
- Minis affected with dwarfism are often used, and purposefully bred, to be guide horses-- despite the death toll and health issues this results in.
Someone read, and commented on, one of my blogs about the Belleville, WI horse abuser Mary Loeffelholz and her recently-seized herd of starving horses. The poster then deleted that comment, but since I get sent all comment notifications and this one's too funny not to share, here it is!
Hm, lots a swearing I see. You must really know what you're talking about... NOT! Btw, nice pictures... photo shopped, correct? Getting all on the vet, very smart to make it a bigger problem than it needs to be. Also, how come you got so up close pictures. Trespassing are we? Also I noticed you had "To physically donate hay, regular-sized halters, leadropes, brushes, or salt blocks..." Halters... leadropes... brushes? Hm, how would you know what this Mary has or doesn't have... stalking are you? I don't like bullshit, and hey... looks like you don't either.Wow, I've never read such a combination of stupidity and paranoia! Also, for the record folks, even if I owned photoshop or any other editing software, I would be technically unable to edit the entire video that those pictures came from-- video taken during the seizure of those poor starving horses. As for donating items...uh, of course those items will be going to the Dane County Humane Society, currently caring for sixteen neglected horses, not the scumbitch Mary. Judging by the appearance of the horses seized, I do doubt she even owns a bale of hay, much less a brush.
Finally, I'd like to talk about a wonderfully silly idea I just had. What if there was a horse show...but for people like me? I don't do shows. My horse and I don't have the time, money or training to do the cool stuff you need to do to enter one of those. We don't lope patterns, we don't own nice tack and we have a certain amount of trouble just keeping straight sometimes. Even "small" "fun" shows are probably out of our league. But I still want a goal to work towards. I want the pleasure of showing off what little gains we've made. And I certainly want to be around other horses and horse people, at a horse-centered event. So you know what? I'm creating my own show. It's a show for all the over-worked, overweight owners of cranky, spooky or green horses, a show where we hand you a ribbon just for surviving the ordeal of trailering. It's called the "Limp for the Roses" 2012 Rank Amateur Horse Show. It's sort of pathetic, but it's going to be huge fun. I wish I could invite you readers, but this first year is a trial run and I'm going to limit this to just my closest neighbors. However, there's no stopping you from doing the same thing! Mail out some invites, with pre-stamped RSVP postcards like the one below, slap some gold spray paint on some horseshoes for awards, and voila! Instant show. Mine's a potluck too.