Thank-you Barry for expressing so well what is often over looked or even ignored concerning small children and horses.
I have a 22 month old granddaughter that I have been introducing to my horses for many months now. I make sure she is in my arms, never on the ground, when around my two horses. I allow her to pet them, at the shoulder, my back towards their hips, so she is protected should one kick for whatever reason (though they have never kicked, you can't be too careful with a small child).
They are use to her voice, and even come to the fence when she calls them. That is something to see indeed!
While my two are very calm and gentle, they are horses and God forbid something scare them and my granddaughter is in their path of escape.
Precautions and common sense are paramount to me in dealing with horses and small children. Yes, I know I tend to be on the extreme side of caution , (more so with my grandchild than I was with my own) but it only takes a fraction of a second for something horrible to happen. Why take the chance.
On a positive note, my granddaughter is not afraid of the horses, and they in turn have learned that she is someone to give space to because I have insisted on that whenever she and I "visit" the horses.
The good manners that I have always insisted on and reinforced when working/dealing with the horses have made the transition with my granddaughter much easier. I allow them into my space when invited, and they know not to come into that space unless invited. This is extending to my granddaughter because she is in my arms. When she is older and I feel it is safe/appropriate she will be able to approach them on the ground. They will already be accustomed to her smell/ voice and I will be there to reinforce the compliance of good manners should one "forget".
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".