The BBC’s Newest Employee Is Digby, The U.K.’s First-Ever Guide Horse

A vision impaired BBC journalist is set to be the first person to be assisted by a guide horse, because he has a deep phobia of dogs.

Mohammed Salim Patel has been working with Digby, an eight-month-old American Miniature, who is being trained up to be Patel’s very own guide horse. Digby is learning to do everything that a typical guide animal does – help with household chores, navigating traffic, getting on and off public transport, and laying quietly in busy spaces like offices and restaurants.

Digby is also going to officially be a part of the BBC team in Salford, where Patel works. He’ll spend a lot of time assisting Patel will his daily tasks, but also be provided space to have a bit of a trot around once in a while – giving him the ability to be just a pony for a bit.

Digby was raised by Katy Smith, who breeds miniature horses. Smith’s told The Guardian that since Digby’s been in training for Patel’s needs, she’s had another person asking after a guide horse, and she plans to raise another foal to be an assistance animal.

Digby will also apparently wear ‘thunder pants’ while he’s on the clock – in case there’s any poop-related issues that arise. Yep, a tiny horse in nappies is going to be wandering the halls of BBC Salford extremely soon. Bless.