This is just wonderful! Ann has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 45 years, in the northeastern US … and she shared her story about life with Feronia, her 22-year-old Morgan mare, whom she has owned for about 13 years.
She is quite a character. Now that I have a CGM, if I’m riding her, she will halt when she hears my beep alerts, so I can deal with it.
Truly an amazing diabetes alert horse! Thank you Ann for sharing this story!
It appears that people have owned horses that alerted their humans to low blood sugars! Who knew … and further, why not?!
Service mini-horse keeps man with diabetes alive was reported by Benjamin Powell for NewsCenterMaine.com, 23 July 2016. One man in Alamance County, North Carolina said his service mini-horse is not only his best friend, but it also keeps him alive.
The mini-horse’s name is Annabelle. She belongs to Braeburn Hilliard, who lives in Graham. Hilliard has had diabetes since he was 11 years old. Since he’s been diabetic so long, Hilliard said his body doesn’t recognize when his blood sugar gets too low.
That’s where Annabelle steps in! On most nights, you’ll find Hilliard walking through his neighborhood with his best friend, Annabelle.
Annabelle was trained by Hilliard to be his service animal!
“The training isn’t always easy,” said Hilliard. “Maintaining it sometimes is quite difficult. But it’s something I love.”
They go everywhere together! Hilliard takes Annabelle on walks through the neighborhood. They even go to restaurants, stores and run errands together!
“It’s like having a best friend,” said Hilliard. “But, as my service animal, she also provides a valuable part in helping keep me safe.”
Annabelle has a keen sense for her handler’s condition. Using the smells that his body puts out, Hilliard trained Annabelle to let him know when his blood sugar gets to a dangerous low.
“When she touches my hand like that, that’s her alert that my blood sugar is dropping,” said Hilliard as Annabelle was nudging his arm. “That’s my signal to go check it.”