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Simri meeting Georgia

It’s been a fun few weeks. Why you ask? It’s because I’ve enjoyed the company of some fellow breeders, some of my writing friends, some interesting young adults and several of the most delightful children you could ever wish to meet.

I love writing about children and horses probably because of the wonderful pony books I read as a child. A part of me never quite grew out of those adorable books. I longed to be the children in the stories with ponies, best friends and having adventures. The memory of that yearning still remains vivid today so maybe it’s why I decided to write my Danika and Yatimah books. Of course my dear husband Don also suggested I do so …

“All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.”
~ Author Unknown

Something I notice when children aged around seven to twelve come to visit our horses is the way the horses appear to enjoy their company. Even if both horse and child are timid at first, it’s fascinating to watch a type of magic unfold.


Stallion Salaa Sihr and Lachlan

We who love and work with horses know many contain a magical heart to heart connection with their owners. Not surprising when you consider the horse is a herd animal with a strict pecking order. They’re also highly attuned to body language and possess a strong desire for company.

“Small children are convinced that ponies deserve to see the inside of the house.” ~Maya Patel

Tracy McVeigh in her article, ‘Not just horsing around … psychologists put their faith in equine therapies’ for The Guardian quoted some words written by American horse trainer Franklin Levinson.

“It has been clinically documented that just being around horses changes human brainwave patterns. We calm down and become more centred and focused when we are with horses,” he says. “Horses are naturally empathetic. The members of the herd feel what is going on for the other members of the herd.”

brooke kiss stav

Simeon Stav and Brooke

Human beings can learn a lot from interacting with horses. It makes me wonder, what we, who owned horses as children gained from the experience. I know I had to learn patience, empathy, caring and responsibility. After all I had to take care of a big animal that depended on me for everything.
I like to think these emotions and habits stayed with me into adulthood.
Do you think these generous habits tend to stay with us as adults?

“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem.
They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope!” ~ Toni Robinson

From the same article above, therapy counsellor Gabrielle Gardner, of Shine For Life, said: ‘”The horse is the perfect mirror, they are very emotional beings; we’re only starting to realise how intelligent they are. A lot of my clients start off being very nervous. People either love them or fear them, so that’s two big emotions that immediately reflect what most of life’s issues revolve around. If you can work with an animal like this and overcome the fear, then it isn’t a bad starting point.” Gardner says a horse picks up on the way people are feeling, mirroring their emotions and responding.”’

And don’t we know how horses mirror our emotions. It’s never a good idea to work with horses if you’ve had a bad day or if you’re feeling impatient.
However, if I’ve ever felt distressed and unhappy all I have to do is  go and visit with my horses. Without fail they’ll come, even if they’re across the paddock, to spend time with me.


Emma and Mia dressing up as their favourite book characters. Emma is Danika from the Danika and Yatimah books.

Back in the 1970’s (yes, a long time ago but the memory is vivid) I can remember a child who visited our stud with her family. She was told not to go and pat the stallion as he may nip her. And the moment our back was turned, where did she go? She went straight to the stallion! All I can remember is my terror turning to amazement  as I watched the stallion behave like a Pony Club horse with the child!

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world. ~Josephine Demott Robinson

We’ve all seen how horses try to escape anger but then follow the people they trust. Horse’s pick up on fear so maybe the children who interact with horses are curious rather than fearful. I’m not an expert so it’s simply a thought.

Sihr Secrets 2

Sihr and Emma

I can hardly count the number of times I’ve observed or been told by others about the special understanding between their horses and children. It’s these stories I love to write about because people can relate and compare them to their own experiences.  This horse – child magic gives the impression of a natural connection that tempts an approach often making a connection, an experience for the child can last a lifetime.

And isn’t it true what John Lubbock said in “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894
‘There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.’


Full Article by Tracy McVeigh for The Guardian ‘Not just horsing around … psychologists put their faith in equine therapies’
Buy Carmel Rowley’s books.

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