Monday, April 2, 2012

"Service" Horses

A different venue for the horse industry is beginning to unfold and may make cause for great concern for shops and restaurants across the country.

That venue is a federal regulation allowing a certain type of horse (a.ka. the service "horse") rights to enter establishments.

Not to be confused with riding your horse into a bar for a beer after a hot blistery day on the trail like my friend did.  That was a little precarious to say the least since she had to duck her head to get inside the door.

The "service" horses are trained to be service animals just like dogs are trained to be service animals.  However, shop owners and restaurant owners are a bit concerned about cleanliness.  And right fully so!  However, I understand that you can train a horse not to relieve themselves in an arena setting.

Besides the relieving side of things, there is another concern and that is e. coli -  (Escherichia coli)

Young and old are most vulnerable to e. coli.  e. coli is a killer.  It's claimed many lives through the centuries.  Due you remember a few years back the e.coli outbreak through a big fast-food chain, where several people became ill from eating hamburgers.  Sadly, there was also a death toll associated with that out-break.  It's well documented that farm animals are key candidate carriers of e. coli.

e. coli is found in all (species) excrement and horses have been known to lay in their own excrement.  Besides the concern of e.coli there is also the concern for people who are allergic to animal hair and dander.
 CDC (Center for Disease Control) did a study in 2011 titled, "Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011" This 22 page report is an eye opener to say the least.

In this report there are guidelines to follow to "reduce the risk of disease" for service "dogs", but the service "horse" isn't mentioned.  Whether your pro or con for the federal regulation I would recommend you read this 22 page report to educated yourself on how to protect your family from a myriad of disease you can contract from any type of animal.  This report covers large and small animals, including birds.

A law suit is filed in the County of Los Angeles:

Not all horses that are considered or viewed by their owner as a "service" horse are miniature horses...

ABC News video link above also talks about other perceived service animals other than dogs and horses, and they (ABC News) are asking the question..." where do we draw the line".

Links of interest:

The Guide Horse Foundation -

AWIC (Animal Welfare Information Center) Federal Regulation -

Small Excerpt from federal regulation document: 

  • On March 15, 2011 the definition of a "service animal" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) changed and now defines a "service animal" as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The Act also allows trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, subject to certain limitations.  Click the AWIC link above to access this information and more...

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