Mohammed Salim Patel is to become the first person in the UK to receive a guide horse, the Lancashire Telegraph has reported.
Mohammed has an intense phobia of dogs, and is therefore unable to use a guide dog to help him move around. Because of this, Digby, a 2ft high, eight-month-old American miniature horse will provide him with assistance.
“I have a condition where I lost my vision and I have come across lots of people who have guide dogs,” Mohammed told the Lancashire Telegraph.
“But I have a big phobia of dogs that I was not able to work out and it was good when I heard about horses being trained.
“I have always loved horses but it is good to see the benefits to people who are visually impaired.”
There are currently around 14 horses being trained in the United States to help people with visual impairments and can live for up to 50 years, allowing owners to make and maintain a lasting bond with the animal.
Mohammed’s story is very similar to that of American guide horse user Dan Shaw, and one of the first recipients of a guide horse in the United States, who was also diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, and in 2002 met his guide horse Cuddles.