Children’s Clinic to learn about Horses
Last week, a class of 32 children came to the farm to learn about horses. Mosts of the children were 4-10 years old, a few had ridden at camp or on vacation. They learned about the history of horses through time. There is evidence that man began domesticating horses as far back as the Neolithic times some 10,000 years ago. Although the time reference was difficult for the children to grasp, they understood that horses and man have coexisted forever.
We discussed how important horses have been for transportation, growing crops, communication, carrying man into war, and most recently as companionship and sport. For some reason, man has always been fascinated by horses, watching them move, listening to them, trying to understand them.
My Mini Hop, a miniature horse served as the demo horse to show how to groom a horse, how to work around him, and to discuss his nature. Horses need to drink up to 10 gallons of water a day and are naturally forage animals. That is they have a small stomach the size of a football, and over 100 feet of intestine so that they must eat small amounts of food all day long in order to stay healthy. We walked around the paddocks to look at the various horses of differnt sizes, color and breed. The children were thrilled to feed them carrots and watch them run around the fields.
Each child had the opportunity to ride a horse and feel his movement under the saddle. One young boy asked eagerly, was this pony in a war? I was amazed they were paying attention to the lecture. These were astute children who all loved horses. It was a fun day for them to experience the country and learn about one of their favorite animals.