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.
A blind man from Blackburn who is scared of dogs is set to be the first person in the UK to receive an officially recognised guide horse. pic.twitter.com/xBgqqbJRi6
— BBC North West (@BBCNWT) February 5, 2018
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.
— Annabel Tiffin (@annabelvtiffin) February 5, 2018
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.Image: Twitter / @JJRadioRadio