I have hoped from the first I saw Harvey that he could someday work out for my daughter. They are both fine, delicate, fey, elfin type creatures.
Harvey’s legs scare me half to death they are the main reason I held back so long from adopting him. He came lame and the terrible pin firing on his hind legs show a history of lameness. My mom has been convinced from the beginning that he has or is going to develop DSLD. Those hind pasterns are icky.
The point of all that being that I think I’m too big to ride him. He’s sound now and doesn’t give me any real reason to think he’s going to go lame but better safe than sorry.
My daughter on the other hand will still be thin and delicate once as she grows up. She’s perfect for him.
I’ve ridden him enough, and done enough ground work, to know that he’s not going to offer anything bad. He has no clue about forward or steering. I feel safe letting her sit on him while I lead them and let the two of them get to know each other.
She got on and helped me show how to transfer Spanish walk to under saddle. Then we went for a walk. She laid down across his hind quarters, pointed lots of stuff out, and helped me do more training on him. They did great together.
I have lots of theory about how a wonderful kids horse can be made with clicker training. She is helping me put the theory into practice.
Small children have a hard time giving the cues that adults do. Once they get on a horse has to learn all over again what is being asked. If she can give the cue and I can ask for the behavior from the ground we can make this much easier for everyone involved. Hopefully.
They wont be getting turned loose anytime soon but we will be doing lots more of this in the future!