Just a few decades ago, guide dogs, or dogs that were used to assist disabled people, was considered to be groundbreaking. Now seeing these guide dogs is deemed as normal. But now, people are starting to use other animals to help the disabled with their everyday lives. The United States has been at the forefront of this, but now the United Kingdom is also getting in on using horses as guide animals.
While it may seem absurd at first, it has to be made clear that the horses that are used are miniature horses. These horses stand roughly at 2-feet, and weight as much as a dog. These animals are incredibly intelligent and can be trained to do almost anything that a trained canine can do. These animals are already being used in the United States for years, and are now breaking new ground in Europe. They can be trained to guide and aid the visually impaired, as well as help out in the everyday chores for disabled people. Katy Smith of North Yorkshire is the owner of a chestnut guide horse named Digby and swears by these horses.
“They can empty a bag of bread to get a slice out and push it towards the toaster.” says smith, “They stick their heads in the washing machine and pull clothes out. They are even able to get a dishcloth out of the washing-up bowl, put it in his mouth and slosh it around the work surfaces. It makes a bit of a mess but he’s got the right idea.”