Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Kid Safe" Horse

Fat pony enjoys a chance to be lazy.
Suzie has played the role of "babysitter" several times now since she became mine. It's just part of life here, and if you cannot safely pack a kiddo around, you don't belong in my barn.

Don't shoot me down so quickly, though. I was always brought up around riders who let multiple people, of varying ages and equestrian experience, take their trusty mounts for a ride - be it a trail ride or a few cool out laps after a lesson. In my mind, I don't want a horse that I can't throw my niece up on while she visits for part of the Summer. What kind of fun would it be for her to sit there and brush a horse all Summer?

Learning how to lead. Suzie says "ZZzzzzZZz this is boring!"

At first, given all the trouble I had trail riding Suzie, and the issues SO had when he rode her, I was skeptical she'd make a good beginner mount. However, she yet again proved me wrong and actually seemed to enjoy the "easy" work. Suz just plodded around the pen at the slowest walk known to man and would stop randomly along the rail, testing my niece's abilities and her patience.

She was, in essence, the perfect kids horse. And from then on, she became a regular mount for Rae whenever she visited. And more recently, she's become a nice "starter" pony for my nephew Calder, who is barely even two years old.

It has been interesting watching how Suzie interacts with the small kids and how she begrudgingly accepts their requests - provided they ask a few times and they are sure they want to trot (she seems to think Rae is just joking when she asks her to trot). And to think this is a mare who was dumped at a Rescue after getting drill teamed the shit out of. For a mare that should get hot while ridden, she is pretty lax and unflappable.

The last time Rae rode Suzie we had gone on a small little trail ride, followed by a short lesson (mostly of Rae jogging Suzie around the backyard) and the naughtiest thing she tried to do was turn around and go back home. Fortunately, it didn't take much to correct her or insist that she follow me on Tally.

Trail riding this Summer.

I think horses are great for kids - they teach a sense of patience and bring such life to their eyes. I know the countless hours I spent in the company of a horse has taught me infinite wisdom I would never receive anywhere else other than the barn. I am so thankful and greatful I have had the opportunity to have horses into my life, and I am so tickled that I get to share that treasure with my nieces and nephews. I can only hope that as they continue to grow, they keep that spark of magic and mystery that is horses.

Suzie says, "Aren't YOU the one babysitting this tiny human?"
 Horses who are good with kids hold a special place in my heart.

Long live the horses and ponies who put up with horse crazy kids.


  1. LOVE this. So much like my boy :)

  2. My horse Carlos used to be quite the little shit with me, and you'd put someone who could barely stay on, on him and he'd be a perfect angel. I was always flabbergasted.

    1. Suzie is like that too!! She can be a royal pain for me and then turn around and be such a perfect lady for Rae.