Wow, you guys, that was so heartwarming! Thank you
Karen, you and any of the ANDers are welcome any time for a visit! Wish we had an extra room but we do have a couch
One day I'm hoping to host a European style expo so we all have an excuse to get together and share. I was thinking about calling it EDTalks as a TEDtalks pun lol.
That's' super cool that you're doing a day for the 4Hers, Karen. 4Hers usually seem to really enjoy getting a little freedom from holding their horses tight on the ground and riding with stiff backs. They also seem to pick stuff up really quickly. It was really cool at the clinics last year to help kids ride bareback in a halter for the first time (they were so nervous!) and to see their faces when their horses followed them at liberty. For kids in our program, that's just everyday stuff, but for most kids it is a distant dream! By the way, we taught both groups Chase the Tiger and while they were a little afraid to treat their ponies, it was a big hit
Here's the video from our wedding. It was SUCH a special day. The kids and ponies did an amazing job, especially considering it was August and for whatever reason, the temperature was like 60 degrees that day when it had been 80-90:http://www.ponypros.net/blog/2010/09/28 ... s-wedding/
I'm happy to answer any questions anybody might have. What we do is always a work in progress, especially because the various pony breeds are all so different, and the child's age is such a big factor. Plus the parents watch Hidalgo, Seabiscuit, etc, or have siblings who are horse show people, so have some preconceived notions about how it should be... But, after I make the parents a montage video of their child that they can send around to family, that's when everyone really buys in because the kid's smiles and the pony's personality are right there in front of them.
Probably the most fun we've had this fall was our Halloween Show. It was sort of a show because I think the kids benefit a lot from the ribbons as an emotional fitness exercise, but really different from what people usually do. The kids get to play free-form for 2 songs. We play music they hear a lot in lessons so it makes them feel safe. We also try to match the music to the ponies. I was so amazed by the costumes the ponies would wear.The kids were riding in poofy dresses and 8ft capes, and the ponies wore things like tutus around their loins and bells on every foot... If I had known the kids would be so creative I would have had them try them on hte ponies ahead of time but no, they just showed up, dressed the ponies, and off they went. Halloween events when I was a kid were always a disaster and this one was soooo much fun.http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... d=19705901
Something interesting that I've observed this year is how much the ponies pick up from one another. Somehow we ended up with a herd of ponies who smile on cue and lay down on cue but we only taught that to about 2 of them, and some of the ponies are rarely, if ever, out at the same time because the kids come on different days. I don't know how on earth they would have learned it unless they're out in the pasture teaching each other tricks.