We’ve heard about dogs being a guide for the partially sighted, assisting them when taking a walk and leading them to different places, but we haven’t heard about horses being that. A miniature horse is in training to become Britain’s first guide horse for the partially sighted. His owner, Katy, knew since he was born he had all the qualities to be the perfect guide horse.
Mrs. Smith says, “He’s got a tremendous personality and great confidence.” Mrs. Smith, who has broken her back in a riding accident, is unable to go on as an activist coordinator in a care home, so she bought her first miniature horse, Digby. She takes him to the facilities at Northallerton Equestrian Centre for therapy training and also takes him to Tiffany’s café for socialization. At this point, Dingy is getting used to the traffic and is becoming more aware of the surrounding. “Digby will hopefully be as good as a guide dog because he’s loyal, trusting and very kind,” said Mrs. Smith. He’s even become popular appearing on local and national televisions and next Tuesday he’s due to appear on Good Morning Britain, in London.
Dingy will be buddied up with two more experienced therapy horses, to give him the right skills to help a partially sighted person. A guide dog takes 20 months to fully train, but a horse is supposed to spend 2.5 years in training. “If it works out with Digby I’m planning to breed from Poppy to get another therapy guide horse,” Mrs. Smith said.