Sunday, March 6, 2011
You Say It's Your Birthday
Pony parties require quite a bit of planning beforehand, and the ability to remain calm and cheerful amidst the fast-moving swirl of excited elementary school kids (and their sometimes slightly-anxious parents and grandparents)! They might represent, though, the purest form of what I do: helping people connect with and enjoy horses, other animals, and the outdoors. The birthday child is confident and knows the spotlight is on; he or she high-fives lowly pedestrian friends waiting their turn at the gate. The pony's initial steps provoke a clutch at the saddle from most guests, but then a giggle. One shy child is reluctant to come forward, but quietly agrees to swing on; with a few prompts from the helper walking alongside, he or she tentatively pats the pony's neck, then buries nervous fingers in the warm, shaggy fur, and - looking up - smiles!