Horses have a long and honorable history of helping human beings. Ever since horses and humans first built bonds of trust and love, they've galloped through the centuries in amazing ways together.
Service horses are specially trained to help people who have become disabled from either illness or injury. As God works through service horses, He empowers people to do a wide variety of tasks they wouldn't otherwise be able to do, believers say.
Most often, ponies and miniature horses serve as service horses, since they're much smaller than other horses and their size allows them to help with tasks in disabled people's homes that range from turning lights on and off to retrieving items that their companions need. These intelligent, caring, and loyal animals often work with blind or deaf people as guide horses, doing the same type of work that guide dogs do, such as accompanying their human companions throughout their normal daily routines (such as to their schools or offices) and guiding them past safety hazards when traveling.
Therapy horses help people heal from either physical or emotional suffering.
Physically, horses can help people gain greater mobility, a stronger sense of balance, better sensory skills, and improved neurological function. Riding a horse benefits ill or injured people who have trouble walking (such as stroke victims and those suffering multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy) because a horse's gait has a rhythm that is strikingly similar to that of a human being. After spending some time riding a horse, people may walk better on their own. People who need help with their sensory skills or neurological functioning (such as those with autism or people who've suffered brain injuries in accidents) often improve after working with horses.
Emotionally, horses can help people recover from trauma, so people with a variety of psychological needs (such as abused children and soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder) spend time enjoying horses' company and taking care of them to build bonds that give them the courage to eventually build stronger relationships with other people. The strong yet gentle demeanor of horses encourages people to talk openly with them about their thoughts and feelings, and horses respond with much-needed listening and unconditional love.
Search and Rescue Horses
Some horses help save people's lives through their work partnering with people on search and rescue teams. Since horses can see, hear, and smell better than humans can, horses can find lost or trapped people better than human searchers can. People often ride search and rescue horses into remote areas that would be difficult to reach via motorized vehicles (such as high mountains) to locate people in need of help there and rescue them from danger. Riding horseback, human rescuers can also move more quickly across terrain than they could simply on foot.
Search and rescue horses have helped conduct miraculous rescues in a wide variety of different situations, from finding missing children to carrying medical supplies to help evacuate injured hikers in the wilderness.
Farm and Ranch Horses
Horses who work on farms and ranches work hard helping people with a wide variety of tasks necessary to produce food (such as pulling plows to prepare the ground for planting crops) and manage other animals (such as moving sheep and cows across long distances). Farmers and ranchers often say that their horses work at least as hard as they do performing daily chores.
Horses work with police forces all over the world, helping human officers (who are called mounted police officers) patrol areas that would be difficult to patrol quickly in motorized vehicles (such as parks with rugged terrain or congested areas of cities). Since mounted police look majestic, police horses also often participate in official ceremonies within their jurisdictions.
Police horses, who are trained to stay calm and peaceful in chaotic or violent situations, have even helped officers solve crimes. Detectives sometimes ride horses when they're trying to track down suspects; they're better able to chase and successfully catch people while on horseback than they are on foot.