Genie wonders "what the rationale is behind training them as guides for the blind instead of using the usual canine types." According to the Guide Horse Foundation website (www.guidehorse.com), the "Ideal Guide Horse Owners" are:
* Horse lovers - Blind people who have grown up with horses and understand equine behavior and care are ideal candidates.
* Allergenic people - Many people who are severely allergic to traditional guide animals and find horses a non-allergenic alternative for mobility.
* Mature Individuals - Many people report difficulty dealing with the grief of losing their animals, and horses tend to live far longer than traditional guides.
* Physically Disabled folks - Because of their docile nature, Guide Horses are easier to handle for individuals with physical disabilities. They are also strong enough to provide support, helping the handler to rise from their chair.
* People with a Dog Phobia - Individuals who fear dogs are often comfortable working with a tiny horse.
* Outdoor Animal Lovers - Many individuals prefer a guide animal that does not have to live in the house when off duty.
(copied from the website)