The girls were given a review of the rules. "Think of this as a horse hospital." No running. No screaming. And never walk directly behind a horse.
We went to a meeting room where a guide explained a bit of the history of the farm as well as what they do there. She showed pictures of horses when they arrived, starved, sick and so poorly cared for, some even unable to stand on their own legs for months they were so weak. Then we saw pictures of the same horses restored to health. Once they are healthy again, they are adopted.
Heading around the buckets of prepped food into the Horse Kitchen.
Inside the kitchen are pellets of food and medicines for the horses and each horse has a color coded clipboard on the wall with information. Tagged green, means they are friendly. Tagged yellow means they sometimes act up. Tagged red means most people should stay away from them.
Inside the barn, we met a few of the horses up close. This guy has medical problems with his legs, but that didn't stop him from hitting the wall and trying to open the door with his teeth to get the girls' attention.
This little sweetie developed colic. She slowly came over to see her visitors though. (Colic is when horses eat something that doesn't agree with them but they can't throw up so their system has to work it through.)
We met the Rescue Riders, trainers who help the horses learn how to be ridden, for those that can, how to follow a lead, and how to take direction from a rider. I missed part of this one because, ever weird, even though it was October, it was 85 degrees and out in the heat the girls were begging for some water, so I ran to the car to get some bottled water.
The rider gave us a demonstration so the girls could see the difference between a walk (4 beats), trot (2 beats) and a cantor (3 beats).
Then we moved to the grooming station. Cecilia got to use a curry brush to help clean Jinx.
Felicity helped brush Ozzie.
We were the 4th group to brush the horses, so they began to get a bit antsy.
You'd think getting that much massage would make anyone happy. Ozzie liked to swing his butt around though and shift sides. No big deal of course, but when you have a bunch of little kids standing where he passes his rear, well, I had to grab Felicity out of the way a few times just to be safe.
They also went over the parts of the hoof and how to use a Hoof Pick to clean underneath them.
They explained that you put your hand, palm down, before the horse's nose so the horse can smell you and become familiar with you.
Then they got to brush the horse's face.
Cecilia gave Jinx a hug before leaving.
Finally, at the fifth station, the girls were instructed on how to properly lead a horse. And then they each got a turn to lead each horse. Eli is the larger one, Truffles the smaller. (I am always fascinated and love hearing the names people give animals... hence I tend to remember them.)
By the time we were done, so were the girls. It was a great visit and the girls got to learn a lot, see a lot and do a lot. Unfortunately, being 85 degrees in the dust and the sun with no breeze meant, by the end, we were all hot, sweaty, thirsty and exhausted. So, our red cheeks were ready to get in the A/C of the car. It was a great visit though and if you are in the neighborhood, I recommend it. (We went on Scouting Day and it only cost $10/child and we were there over 2 hours.)
I love this picture. The pose. The look. I know she wasn't, but it looks like she is thinking, "Mom, look at this stellar pony. So sweet. So gentle. So my height. Truffles would fit perfectly in our living room." LOL
In high school I rode horses. I used to show and compete a beautiful arabian horse named Chief. It has been a long time since I rode horses, but I did enjoy it. I'd like to do it again some day, but it was so much fun introducing the girls to horses up close and hands on.