One of our regular partners is a little white miniature pony. We often use her in conjunction with regular size horses to give participants options in terms of size and personalities. Sometimes people are drawn to her because she is small and appears “easy” to manage. Sometimes they are drawn to her because she is less intimidating. Sometimes she reminds them of a child. She tends to bring out some response in most participants. We’ve included some paraphrasing of the reactions from participants last year below.
The little white one was sooo stubborn. She reminded me of how I am. But, when I found a way to connect with her on her terms, she was willing to do what I asked.
That horse was so disinterested in me. It didn’t matter what I did, they just kept eating. I found myself avoiding it or dreading having to work with it because it didn’t like me.
We decided to try to move the mini first because we thought she would be easiest. She wasn’t. So we moved on to the larger brown horse and found when we moved her, the mini moved too.
I didn’t want to push her because she’s so small. I was afraid I was going to hurt her. Then I saw her kick at the big horse when it got to close. I didn’t think she could move so fast.
This one little horse has garnered more attention and reaction from participants than any other horse we work with, so far. She has been a mirror to some of the stubborn sides most of us have inside as well as the vulnerable side that needs to be taken care of in some way. She has also been a window into how we respond to those who appear to be more vulnerable than we are in the moment. She continues to surprise us with her ability to care for herself when she needs to, to stand her ground, and to do her own thing. She shows us that size doesn’t matter and even the smallest among us can have a tremendous impact on those around us. Join us for more opportunities to learn and grow with horses!