BRITAIN'S first ever guide horses who are being trained to help blind and partially-sighted people have been put through their paces at a special care home.

Digby, an American miniature horse who is in the final months of his two year training at Northallerton stables and his younger colleague Taz visited Tate House in Harrogate, which is run by the Royal National Institute for Blind People.

The pair will be able to press the button at pedestrian crossings, lie down on command and recognise obstacles when they are fully trained.

Tate House Manager Sean Atkinson-Maury said: "The staff and residents were very excited. Quite a few here have had guide dogs in the past, so were interested to see how the horses would shape up. I’m pleased to say they got glowing reviews from everyone."

Resident Susan Heywood said: "I was surprised at how well-trained Digby is. He can do a lot of things a guide dog could, like following and leading, recognising obstacles and pressing buttons. He’ll make a fine guide for his new owner. I wish they were staying with us."

Trainer, Katy Smith added: "Digby and Taz have done exceptionally, it’s always a brilliant experience to let them meet blind and partially-sighted people so they can get more practice."