There is a great organization in Goshen that I have blogged about before, Personal Ponies. They raise Shetland ponies to give to special needs children. In order to help socialize the ponies the owner Ms. Dell opens her farm to the public for kids to come interact with the ponies. We haven't been in a long time so when Jacob's mommy said they were going this morning I knew we had to go with!
We were running a bit behind this morning, big surprise, so I packed the kids' lunch boxes with their breakfast for them to eat on the way... it is about 20-30 minutes from our house so I knew this would be a good way for my excited little ones to help pass the time.
After getting lost and driving for an hour I was SO glad I had their breakfast! Imagine how long that hour would have been had they not been busy for the first half of it! Owen ended up in tears for fear we were going to miss the ponies and I eventually ended up in tears out of frustration for driving around forever and not having any luck finding the hidden driveway and having no one answer their phone for help.
Eventually, we FINALLY found the place and everyone was excited!!! Yay, we made it for pony time!!!!
But soon after being there, and after one small pat to Nate from Owen, both kids were done. Are you kidding me???? They were scared even though just last week they both rode ponies bigger than this at the fair. I pulled out my camera for them to look at pictures to remind them that they do like horses. I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden they were scared.
It could be because a lot of the ponies roam free and that could be a bit overwhelming to be walking next to these relatively big creatures. So, at the beginning, they preferred to feed grass to the caged chickens as I sat back and wondered. Brad and I often talk about how it amazes us that as much as we do with the kids and as safe as we always keep them they are both still so cautious and it takes them forever to warm up to something.
I guess it is good to be cautious and not just run up to any big, strange animal or person! And eventually, with enough time, they do warm up and start to enjoy themselves!!! Ms. Angela got Addyson to pet one of the ponies and slowly worked their way up towards the head and then she was more comfortable being there and not asking to go home.
Then my kids got brave and held the lead of one of the ponies and helped walked their friend Jacob around the yard!!! Yay for big steps!
And then it was Owen's turn for a ride and he got up there with no problems! See, it all worked out... it just took about 15 minutes of getting acquainted with their surroundings. Whew! I was SO afraid that hour of driving in circles was going to be in vain.
And then it was Addyson's turn to ride and the boys to lead her around! Everyone jumped to their spot with big smiles!!!!
And after her ride around the yard, Addyson leaned over and gave her pony a pat to say "Thank You"!
After their ride and after watching other kids brush and love on the ponies, Owen and Addyson decided it was safe to brush Nate and love on him! I was SO proud of them!!!!
And who would have thought that Owen would take it a step further and try to feed Nate!!! Getting your tiny hand next to those big teeth can be overwhelming! I taught him to keep him hand flat so he could keep his fingers out of the way and away he went feeding Nate handfuls of grass over and over and
over again! Look how they both have their mouths open!!: )
Wanting to be as big as her brother and knowing it was safe after watching him, Addyson got the courage to get a handful of grass and feed it to Nate too!!!!
Wow! In a matter of an hour we went from 2 kids afraid of the horses and wanting to go home to a morning of riding, brushing, loving on, and feeding the ponies!!! What a fun morning!!! Thank you to Ms. Dell for opening her farm to us for us to help her love on her precious ponies!!! Now that the weather is SO much cooler, I can't wait to go back and spend more mornings there with the ponies!