Typically guide dogs assist the blind, but Mona Ramouni's guide horse helps her navigate the world, instead.
Imagine walking down the streets of Chicago to see a woman and a Miniature horse approaching you. The horse is wearing a harness and pauses to tap her hoof on curbs so that the woman can step over them. The horse keeps the woman traveling in a straight line, out of the path of traffic. There's a very special guide horse filling in a role that's typically reserved for guide dogs.
Mona Ramouni had initially planned on getting a guide dog to assist her on a day-to-day basis. However, when Ramouni's parents prohibited pets in the house, Ramouni had to explore other options. She ended up bringing in Kali, a Miniature horse, to assist her instead of a dog. Now the pair can be seen traveling on buses, through buildings, and along sidewalks. Kali even lives in Ramouni's back yard. Take a look at the story of this special little horse.
Never heard of a guide horse before? It's certainly an unusual use for a Miniature horse, but it also makes perfect sense. A Miniature horse is a convenient size, being able to travel in vehicles and to navigate narrow hallways. Miniature horses are also very intelligent, and Kali has learned how to provide services to best help Ramouni. Plus, Miniature horses tend to be more relaxed and less spooky than full-size horses are.
Miniature horses are beginning to fill a host of duties, including working as therapy animals and even, in some cases, as service animals. Kali's story is just one instance of this. If you would like to get into working with Miniature horses, contact your state's Miniature horse breed organization to see if there are local groups you can join and learn from.