The bond between horse and human can be incredibly strong, as miniature horse Panda and her owner, Ann Edie, prove.
“I would not want to imagine life without her,” Ann says.
You’ve probably seen guide dogs with their owners on the street, but a guide horse?
Miniature horse Panda isn’t just any horse—she’s a real hero and takes great responsibility for Ann’s safety in everyday life.
“I’ve been legally blind since I was born,” miniature horse owner Ann Edie told Channel 4’s “Superpets.”
Ann has had guide dogs before, but Panda is her first guide horse.
“Miniature horses are very well suited (for blind people),” Ann says.
Panda goes in the car, on the train, joins Ann on walks, and helps her indoors.
“She’s a wonderful companion, as well as a wonderful helper. She’s almost like having another daughter,” Ann says.
Panda and Ann have been together for 14 years and Ann trusts her guide 100 percent.
The two communicate with each other through small signals. Panda understands how to navigate through different obstacles along the way. When she gets to a cross walk, she puts her head on the left side of the post so can Ann press the “walk” button on the right side.
“She knows her job, and just about from the very beginning, she just exuded this feeliing of ‘I can do that.'”
Even more amazing is that all of Panda’s training was done through positive reinforcement. So instead of being punished when she made a mistake, Panda was rewarded for good behavior. Both Ann and Panda’s trainer believe that the pony’s positive attitude and ability to keep learning stems for her training.
“I would not want to imagine life without her,” Ann says, hoping they will get many more years together.
See their wonderful story here:
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