The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49105   Message #741361
Posted By: CapriUni
03-Jul-02 - 09:05 AM
Thread Name: OBIT: Rosie, the Guide Horse
Subject: RE: OBIT: Rosie, the Guide Horse
Yes. Horses, to my mind are a miracle.

They are a prey animal.

We are predators (and in some parts of Europe, horse meat is still seen as a delicacy).

And yet, with a little patience and trust, horses let us up on their backs, and serve us to the best of their ability.

That would be like a human letting a tiger ride its back...

I know first hand the gifts of therapy horses... I have cerebral palsy, and therapeutic riding and hippotherapy is my therapy of choice (the former focuses on riding skills that happen to be therapeutic, the latter is more traditional therapy that just happens to be on the back of a moving horse).

The neat thing about horse riding is that the movement of the horse's back at the walk matches perfectly the movement of a normal gait of a human's hips at the walk (the left-right/up-down movement), something that simply cannot be reproduced with any other form of technology or method... The blind, particularly blind children, tend to move through the world in a self-resticting way, and get into limited muscle habits. Getting up on a horse, and moving freely through space can help break them out of that mode.

That said, I suspect the miniture horse (which are not ponies, as I understand it) as guide horse movement is an attempt simply not to be seen as entirely yuppie and frivolous. Personally, I think breeding animals simply to fulfill human whims (miniture horses, hairless cats, etc.) is almost criminal...

No offence to the spirit of Rosie, however...