When you think of a horse, you imagine a stately animal. A fast animal. Maybe you picture them in a period film set in the 18th century. Maybe you picture them underneath a Hadid in an Instagram story, or alongside LVP.
Now you can also imagine horses as service animals.
Currently, in the United Kingdom, a miniature horse named Digby is being trained to be the constant companion of Mohammed Salim Patel, a BBC journalist with a degenerative eye condition that has left him blind. Patel, who is terrified of dogs, was convinced he could never have a service animal because of his phobia. Then, he was introduced to Digby, an eight-month-old miniature horse born in the United States.
Digby is only two feet tall, but he causes quite a stir whenever he goes out in public with Patel in the town of Blackburn, where the journalist lives. Who wouldn’t want to approach a miniature horse? Digby courts the attention with grace, but it will still be a few more years of training before he can live with Patel full-time.
There are currently a few other miniature horses serving as service animals in the United States. There’s even a Guide Horse Foundation set up to aid the visually impaired. So the next time you see a miniature horse walking down the street as if it’s NBD? Remember to ask first before you pet him because he might be working.
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