I have a very young lesson student, Mikayla, who is 6 years old. She is absolutely horse crazy. I have been instructing her for a little over a year now and she is like a little sponge. She absorbs everything I teach her. I am extremely proud of what she has learned over the past year. She has learned parts of the horse, parts of the saddle and bridle. She knows and says the chemical names of the wormers and all the different parasites they kill. Needless to say she knows more than most adults who have been around and worked with horses for most their lives. The one thing Mikayla has struggled with is the different colors of horses. She knows them all, but Gray still stumps her. I have shown her pictures of flea bitten gray, rose, gray, dapple gray etc… and she struggles with gray when presented with it.
Anyway, Mikayla has known about Argo coming for some time and the excitement had been slowly building. Her mother showed her the first video of Agro and Mikayla was hooked. Now she asks to watch the video everyday after school. Well Thursday was her weekly lesson and she was very happy to be able to see Argo up close. So off we went hand in hand to the paddock. Mikayla was wearing a very bright pink jacket, which Argo noticed right away. He gave a very loud “blow”. I actually had not heard him “blow” that loud for the past few days. He was quite alarmed. I explained to my young student the need to let him digest and understand what he was seeing. As we got closer to the pen he became very curious, but yet was not going to take a step towards us just yet. Mikayla and I just sat next to the pen while Argo studied us.
Mikayla asked all kinds of questions, “Why had I not brushed him yet? He is muddy and she would be happy to brush him, and she would like to pet him, why couldn’t she pet him yet?” And it went like that for a few minutes while I explained what “wild” meant. The whole time Argo just studied Mikayla, totally intrigued by her, but yet still wary of the bright pink jacket. We moved closer to the pen and Argo stood there calmly watching us. We got to the pen and he took a step towards us. Mikayla exclaimed “He likes me!” That was too much for Argo he took three steps back. I explained to her that we needed to be calm and not raise our voices when Argo is unsure of something. That instruction lasted about 3 seconds after he took a step again towards us, and Mikayla was so excited and he stepped back with less force, but he still just was not sure of her. I then asked Mikayla what color Argo was and without even a pause she shouted “Gray!” I was so proud.
Argo by this time had realized there really was no threat in the little alien who had a big voice, but he was not going to come any closer for fear of the voice getting louder. I told Mikayla that was enough for today, that I’m sure each time she sees Argo his response to her will be better. It just takes time. She of course thinks that will happen next week. I wish I had the concept of time that children have.
What I love about Mikayla is being able to see the absolute joy on her face, such as today when she first saw Argo in the flesh and exclaimed how beautiful he was. She is just absolutely thrilled with anything horse and I hope she never loses that.
I have new batteries finally for the camera so I promise new pictures for tomorrows post.