This happened yesterday – I have a twin (brother and sister) of 10 years old learning the basics of riding and connecting with a horse. They had to saddle Shiva, who was standing on a long rope in the field.
Now Shiva has a little problem when she sees a saddle coming, due to a bad start with people throwing the thing on her back, so I always take extra care, approaching her slowly, calming her down but…..I’m not a kiddo any more and this is the (in my opinion) big wonder with horses: when there’s kids involved – they are so much more relaxed!!
Corinna walks towards Shiva, the saddle-pad (or ‘numnah’ – looove that word!!) in her hand, her other hand stretched out to make contact. (Corinna’s brother Alkinoos and me are in the field too, holding back, just watching.) Shiva accepts the contact, but backs of when she sees the pad coming towards her back. Immediately Alkinoos reacts, telling his sis that she has to let Shiva smell at the pad first! Ah yes, Corinna remembers she forgot about that – and offers the pad to Shiva’s nose. I’m in the meantime wondering whether Shiva is not too upset to be calmed down by this little gesture but no – she smells the pad and then lets Corinna put the thing in place – which is quite difficult for the tiny girl. She really has to reach out and it takes a little time until she can adjust the pad on that high back of Shiva. Remember, Shiva is on a long rope and can walk away from Corinna easily. But she doesn’t, she lets the girl adjust the numnah and waits patiently for Corinna to put the girth over it too….
Okay – you can all think of me as a silly cow, but I do love to see kids and horses so relaxed with each other, while also explaining each other what’s done best! Super pupils and super understanding horses!!
photo = Shiva and Corinna (in wintertime)