I was recently contacted by a mother of twin 4year old girls regarding a "riding lesson". She had actually been referred to me by one of the other instructors at my barn as their schedules weren't coordinating. It was to be a one-off glorified pony ride, one hour in total, with both girls splitting the time to ride and having some time to pet the pretty pony. Easy money for me.
As the day approached, I started to put some thought into what the heck I would do with them. As it was only a one-off ride, I didn't really need to work on any skills - really, they just needed to hang on while being led around. But that's kind of boring. I needed something fun for them to do.
What horse do I know who is very quiet but has some special skills? Phantom!
|Standing on a podium was not one of the skills she demonstrated on this day.|
Thus, she got put into service as a leadline pony. And she did an excellent job.
The biggest skill she demonstrated was kicking a ball. I thought the girls would find that amusing, but apparently walking over the trot poles was the best part. Phantom sidepassed quite nicely over a pole for each of them (with my help), and did a very nice job of going from a slow amble to a fast walk and right back to an amble, without breaking into a trot (though it was close a couple of times!).
After the rides she stood perfectly still while the girls brushed her - well, the bottom half of her. That's as high as the 4 year olds could reach. She even dropped her head so that they could gently brush her face.
And before they left, Phantom posed for a smiling picture with the kids.
Phantom made two little girls very happy today. Apparently they were hoping to ride a white horse, and their mom had warned them that it probably wouldn't be and would be a brown horse. I guess that when they walked in and saw a white horse waiting for them it made their day!