do horses give kids a break? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I have seen horses carry kids around so nice, and be such dwerps for adults.
Maybe that's because adults are often such dwerps to horses!

(and so much heavier too!)

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post #12 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 03:47 AM
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I don't think it is just with riding but also on the ground.

So many times I have had horses try things on and mess around for me and be Angels with children.

Tom, a big heavyweight hunter in my care was a brilliant jumper following hounds or cross country but try to get him over a coloured pole and he was something else!

I had a girl Roding with me that had spina bifilar, she was a great little order and wanted to rode Tom.
I told her if she could tack him up she could come over to the arena where I was giving her sister a lesson.
Much to my surprise she did so, no mean feat as she was about 4'10" and he, a solid 16.2.
Now when Tom jumped he would often take a stride out, balloon over a fence and often buck on landing.
The girl rode him into the arena and he behaved like a gentleman he usually wasn't!

Sister was having a jumping practise and the younger wanted to join in. That devil of a horse popped round the show jumping course set at about 3'6" without batting an eyelid! He never over jumped, bucked or spooked at a thing. Butter wouldn't have melted in his mouth.
The girl looked like a pimple on an elephants butt and that horse took care of her all the way.

Next day I thought I would try him over a couple of coloured poles - it was a battle all the way! He was snorting and acting like they were going to eat him.
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post #13 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 04:57 AM
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I have had donkeys and they where the very best with kids. You see so many old time pictures of a donkey covered with kids from ears to tail.

We have a horse that came from a riding therapeutic place. He had no ground manners because of that. Kids mauled him and while he was very sweet to them he did his own thing. He was a bit shocked when he encountered my kids as they made him toe the line. He now picks up feet without a struggle, stands to be groomed, leads nicely.... He does love kids.... I have a picture of him laying in the yard with 2 of my girls curled up with him.
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 10:20 AM
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I had a mare once that could be a real son of a gun in her behaviour with adults but when my young daughter was around she would never set a foot wrong and behaved perfectly. It's like she knew there was a child there so be careful, she had had a few foals so maybe that's why.
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 10:44 AM
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Yeah. It sure depends on the horse and can go either way.

A roper friend of mine had an old, steady horse about 18 years old. Some neighbors, non-horsey, stopped at his arena to watch him and friends practice. Their adorable little blond girl had horse shaped stars in her eyes.

Nice neighbor offered to let her ride his old gelding. Lots of older kids had learned on him. He said "He's as gentle as a lamb." Little girl gets up, is walking along, just a passenger, nice guy is walking next to them, and the horse suddenly crow hops and runs off, leaving her in the dust, unhurt.

Girl was okay. Parents weren't freaking. Nice guy gathers up his horse and I hear him say, "Baaaa, you sonuva_______!"

On the other hand, I always had some projects around. At least at first, when the kids would come to the corrals to check them out, most of the horses would stand perfectly still and let the kids handle them, when they still had the wiggles with me.
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post #16 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 11:09 AM
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Some do-arm, leg. Others don't.
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post #17 of 28 Old 02-14-2015, 11:23 AM
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When my daughter was little in my old pony's eyes she could do no wrong. One of my fondest memories was my daughter riding across the field with nothing but a bit of bailing string around the little mare's neck, in purple satin pajamas with cartoon frogs on them. You could see the pony working to keep the kid on board. The pony spotted me and made a beeline right to me. No doubt the look on her face said "Remove your child now please".

Another time, I think my daughter was around 3, she got mad at me, told me she was running away. It was pouring rain out so I didn't think she would get far. Waited 30 seconds and no kid. Walked around back and my daughter had managed to throw a small wooden step ladder up against the pony and was mounting up. Pony had just froze in her tracks with a look that said oh crap now what. Didn't move a muscle until I grabbed child in major temper tantrum off her.
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post #18 of 28 Old 02-15-2015, 01:48 AM
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I worked at a rescue barn and helped teach kids camp. And I did notice that those horses behaved so much better with those kids then with adults.

I think it is a combination of two things: 1) those little kids did not push those horses hard at all, they got an easy ride. 2) horses are smarter then some of us give them credit for.

There were horses that would buck for one adult who lacked confidence, but then I would get on them or my boss would get on them and they would behave themselves.

The kids that leased horses for barrels or poles or whatever else and pushed those horses did face some more issues. But over all, those horses were smart enough to know those kids.

It's actually proven that among mammals, babies can usually be recognized despite species. That's why surrogacy can be possible among species (i.e. dogs caring for baby deer, or Gorillas with pet kittens etc).
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post #19 of 28 Old 02-22-2015, 08:41 PM
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I think it depends on the horse. I had a pony that was PERFECT for me and no one else other than my 3 year old little sister. My mare is great with little kids! I don't let them ride her by them selves because she wouldn't listen, but while leading them or me riding with them, she is perfect! It seems as most horses recognize fragile children and inexperienced adults!
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-02-2015, 11:41 PM
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My Arabian Gelding LOVES LOVES LOOOOVES kids! We had a event last weekend with kids and babies and they got to brush him and he was as stiff as a rock! When I brush him or others without having him on cross ties, he's a wiggle worm. But these kids, he'll stand so still. Lol! He also will give the kids kisses. I once let my 2 year old sister on him with me and he walked so slow and gently. Once my sister was off, he trotted away with me on him. I totally think they know they are children.
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