Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The world’s first guide horse TV news report

We are now archiving our Guide horse television appearances, and it’s fun to look back on the early days of our experimental program!

Below is very first TV appearance of our experimental program to train guide horses for the blind.

We started using Twinkie, an achondroplastic dwarf pony who was born in 1985. She was 14 years old in 1999 when we started the experiment, and she served as a willing helper, but she was too old to housebreak, so she had to wear a diaper:

Lto R: Jen1, Twinkie and Janet

Incidentally, Twinkie is alive and well at age 25 today, but she and I have gotten a few grey hairs. She is a very smart little pony. She knows her name and comes when you call her, and she is a really good sport, like when the girls dressed her up like a seahorse:

Twinkie as a seahorse

Me, I have not changed too much since 1999, but I’ve put on a few pounds . . .

This TV report was before Janet had perfected her housebreaking of the miniature horses and before we developed sneakers to keep their hooves from slipping on slick floors!

And you think YOUR parents are embarrassing?

Andy and Jen were just young teens in 1999, and typically, they were hugely embarrassed at their parents! Every tween thinks that their parents are embarrassing, and they were mortified about our experiment until they heard their friends talking about how super-cool it was. When they said that their parents were the trainers, the friends did not believe them! Serves them right!

Just look at Jen sanding to the left of Janet, not too happy to be on TV:

Parents can be so embarassing!

Here it is, the world’s first TV News reports about our revolutionary experiment: