FREQUENT QUESTIONS ABOUT DHA
QUESTION: Who are the typical members or participants?
DHA: Our main focus are owners with deaf horses, but we are open to everyone who want to learn more about deaf horses in general. Typical members include deaf and hearing fans who own a deaf horse. We also have fans who are non-owners, owners of hearing horses, and educators / interpreters for the deaf.
QUESTION: How can one become a member?
DHA: We do not have a formal membership; fans may visit our website at no cost. We encourage fans, whether they own a deaf horse or not, to join our Facebook club as a supporting member or fan.
QUESTION: Does your organization advocate breeding the deaf horses?
DHA: No. We do not advocate selective breeding to produce deaf horses.
We are here as a support group to share information about deaf horses. As an example, let's look at Great Spirit Bear which lives in Coastal British Columbia's rainforest area. Great Spirit Bear (see photo below) is a black bear that has white fur due to a rare genetic condition. Researchers have set up dedicated websites, and written articles and stories about Great Spirit Bear. Who wouldn't enjoy learning more about this rare, extraordinary animal? It is fascinating to learn more about them. In the same manner, we are fascinated about deaf horses - how they live, the best ways to interact with them, and the genetic links between "splashed white" markings and deafness. We feel that it is equally important to educate people that deaf horses can have a productive life like any other horses out there.
QUESTION: Do you have any articles or publications that your organization has produced that I can read or share with other people?
DHA: Yes. We also have a volunteer writing contributor in DR. K. Gary Magdesian, who is a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Please visit our "DHA Articles" link on our navigation bar above.
QUESTION: How did DHA established? Who started DHA?
DHA: In the beginning, Paul Harvey, the spirited founder of DHA, first met a deaf paint horse named Daisy in 2005 (see photo below). Paul was in Maple Ridge, British Columbia as a volunteer at a therapeutic riding program. Although Paul had been deaf all his life, he never knew that deaf horses existed. While he was familiar with deaf dogs and cats, Daisy was the first deaf horse that he had ever met. She was truly responsible for inspiring Mr. Harvey to create the DHA organization.
As a side note, when our founder first began his research on deaf horses, he discovered that there appears to be a link between deafness and a genetic "splashed white" marking found on horses' faces. One notable deaf horse with this marking is Gunner, who won many reining contests and has been named into National Reining Horse Association's Hall of Fame. Paul decided to purchase a similar deaf splashed paint horse named Skipper in 2008 (see the picture from the top left). Now the rest is history!
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