Ten miniature ponies are currently in training in America after Cuddles, a miniature pony owned by Eddie Short, who lives in Henderson, North Carolina proved a success as a reliable “pair of eyes”.

Cuddles, who has been fitted with four special training shoes to help improve her balance and grip, goes everywhere with her owner, including restaurants where she lies down under the table for a nap.

Trained by Janet and Don Burleson, who originally experimented with horses in New York traffic, said: “Horses are very safety conscious, intelligent animals. In many ways they make better guides than dogs.”

The couple got the idea from their own pet pony Twinkle, who travels in the car wherever they go.

Best selling author, Patricia Cornwall is believed to be so impressed by the story, that she is planning to include a blind person’s guide horse in her next book.