Congressman says ‘nay’ to eating out with horses

If you’re going out to eat with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, it’d be a good idea to leave the horse at home.

The Utah Republican recently introduced an amendment that would bar miniature horses from restaurants.

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A Justice Department ruling allows trained pint-sized mares to accompany disabled owners as “alternatives to dogs” under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The Justice Department’s website says the rule is “subject to certain limitations.”

But Chaffetz doesn’t like the idea of chowing down with a horse nearby.

In an editorial for Utah’s Daily Herald, he wrote, “Despite the difficulty (some would say impossibility) of housebreaking a horse, the Obama Justice Department ruled that ‘service’ horses — miniature horses used to accompany people with disabilities — are no different than guide dogs … As a result, shops, restaurants, hotels and even airlines could be sued if they did not accommodate horses.”

Chaffetz’s amendment would prohibit the use of funds to implement a section of the ADA that allows the petite creatures to be used as service animals.

The congressman told ITK in an email, “I say ‘naaayy’ to dining with horses. I enjoy horses, but I prefer onion rings rather than hay with my cheeseburgers.”

Even an equine lover agrees with Chaffetz.

Mike McCabe, who’s been training world champion miniature horses for shows for more than 20 years, says when it comes to housebreaking the cute stable residents — no can do. When asked in a phone interview if a miniature horse can be taught not to go potty inside, McCabe responded, “I couldn’t [do it.]”

The Ohio trainer says, “They shouldn’t be allowed in a restaurant,” before adding, “They’re very nice animals, but I don’t think they’re right for that.”