Miniature Horses as Emotional Support Animals

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To some, it may seem like a strange choice. To others, it makes perfect sense. Emotional support animals have been gaining notoriety in recent years, with many negative stories hogging up the news. But the real truth is not what you see in the papers or in nightly bulletins. Emotional support animals are a legitimate and helpful aid for those suffering from issues with mental health, without resorting to harsh drugs that can be addictive and harmful in the long term. 

Normally, the most commonly seen animal-assisted therapy are cats and dogs. However, there’s a new animal on the block that’s turning heads and it’s cute as a button. One of the newest options as an ESA is the gorgeous miniature horse, which to some may seem a little strange. But these mini-ponies make some of the best therapy animals around. Plus, they are perfect for the large proportion of Americans that cannot keep a canine or feline pal, for whatever reason. Read on to hear more about the amazing reasons that miniature horses make the best emotional support animals! 

The new regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), states that places and policies that are already in place must now permit miniature horses, where reasonable, to be treated the same as for dogs.

The measurement rules are based on 24 inches to 34 inches in height and they should weigh around 70 to 100 pounds. The ADA establishes four rules that must be followed to determine where a miniature horse can enter a facility:

  • The miniature horse must be housebroken
  • The miniature horse is under control
  • The facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s size, weight, and type
  • The animal will not compromise safety requirements for safe operation for the people in the facility or members around the horse

Horses are incredibly docile animals when trained, and due to their size, miniature horses fall into that category even more so. Training means that miniature horses can remain calm in even the most stressful of situations, which is an invaluable quality in an emotional support animal. These animals are also incredibly focused and unflappable, which is helpful when traveling.

Horses are surprisingly sensitive animals, who have been known to assist each other in the wild. When a horse in a herd goes blind, another member will assume responsibility for it, helping to look after it’s welfare, guiding it with the herd. This naturally protective aspect of a horse’s nature is perfect for those who are looking for a supportive presence in their ESA. 

Recently the law stablished that both horses and dogs can work as assisting animals. These animals provide assistance in guidance and will keep their owners safe.

All service animals must be trained to a high level but they should also possess very good behavior and ability to be under excellent control before they are considered. They have to meet the needs of their individual owner, working to their individual needs and disability. Just like all service animals, service horses will respond to their user, pick up dropped items and medication and support them in public places, helping them live a more independent life.

Training a miniature horse takes a lot of extensive time and special care. Many trainers have agreed it can be more intense than training a service dog because horses are often easily spooked. Because of this, a lot of hours are needed to help train horses and adapt them to the house, tasks, and environment for the owner to be comfortable.