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Children and horses

By Ivelise

Dear Franklin,

I have just happened on your site through an Australian Eques site, and read the short article on children and horses.

I think they have a lot to offer each other, and while ponies can be smart with their inexperienced riders they seem to be genuine in their relationships, as children are not intimidating like the grown-ups.

My mum who babysat today while I was at work told me my 5 year old son – soon to be 6 – spent an hour with my one month old Andalusian cross filly in the paddock, she is only just learning that humans are not so scary, and has no problem with his wonderful patting. Her head stands a head higher than him! He really bonds with the foals and hates it when I say its for sale, pleading for them to stay.

The image pictured is a moment my husband caught while Seth's pony was in the garden. He isn't a besotted horsey child like a starry eyed pre-teen, but he certainly enjoys their company and riding, though I'm sure he would prefer a motorbike!

Through daily interaction with me and the horses I would say he has just learnt to 'be' with them, and enjoys their appreciation of his company too.

Not to say that the horses don't consider kids a lower member of the herd, in my observation, and I tell the kids to stay out of reach at feeding time, my horses seem very tolerant and careful of the kids and I have never had any major problems with their interactions, even when my toddler used to escape into the paddock and stand nearly under the horse!