Thursday, March 22, 2012
For a Little Girl who loves horses with a deep sort of passion, and after said Little Girl lost her first horse-friend after only six weeks of getting to love him, a dream has come true. Our nearest neighbor heard that we had a Little Girl looking for a good, kid-friendly horse. It just so happened she had a pony that was needing a 'job'. The 'job', of course, is to stand patiently while Two Little Girls brush him and pet him, and to do his best to respond to the confusing cues of a still-learning nine year old.
This is Bandit.
He's not ours for keeps, but will be living with us as long as Two Little Girls are content to ride him and care for him, which I imagine will be some time. He raised three other kids, now all grown, and while they aren't willing to sell him, they are happy to see him raising two more.
He is absolutely delightful, so loving and patient and cheerful. He's half Percheron, a kind of draft horse, and half pony. He's nearly as wide as he is tall, and his hooves are absolutely enormous. He's about 20 years old - old enough to know how to deal with kids, young enough to still have some spunk.
So far they've only ridden him bareback with a halter and lead rope, but he does pretty well taking cues from that. Oldest One is looking forward to saddling and bridling him and going for jaunts through the hay field. Some day I'll get over my motherly fears and allow that. For now, it's walking along with me next to her. But she's thrilled to have him, and to have him here at her own house, where she can feed him and water him and visit him as often as she wants to.
Even cleaning his stall and corral is great fun... at least, for now. In fact, Two Little Girls got into an argument over who got to clean up the last manure pile, they were having such a nice time doing it. I imagine the excitement will wear off eventually, but I love seeing them do real work with such cheerful spirits. Having animals is so good for Little Girl character.
It's good for Mommy character, too. I can't tell you how pleasant I find it to go out there and spend time with him. Troubles and worries and stress and frustration all seem to disappear when there is a furry animal to focus one's attention on. Hopefully some day we'll have a whole farm full of them... I won't have time to think about anything else!