In the adorable video below, a cute toddler plays with an equally cute pony. And to those of us who don’t know much about horses, it very much looks like the two are having fun. But the video concerned a number of commenters who better understood what the pony was doing.
This Pony Is Feeling Stressed
In the video, we see the little girl running around the garden with the pony following her. The pony is a pretty good sport for the most part, and the toddler gets to pet it’s soft fur. The video really is cute, but sharp-eyed commenters noticed not everything was copacetic.
“That’s not bonding,” said one commenter. “If you don’t know that don’t even think about getting a pony. You’ll either need a lot of money for Dr. Bills (sic) or a trainer who knows what they are doing.”
There were numerous comments about the encounter being a potentially dangerous experience. Here are just two examples:
“So dangerous…then when the horse gets spooked and kicks her he would be put down for reacting naturally. Not a good idea. Wouldn’t risk my baby for cuteness.”
“Striking, turning butt to baby, and ears flat back at one point. …That is a disaster looking for a place to happen. Unfortunately, it will be the baby who gets hurt and the mini put down.”
The commenter warned:
“This is a comment about the little girl with the mini. It was posted on a pony owners board and the comments were unanimous. We were all horrified at the danger that child was in. If you know that child’s parents please let them know that that situation is extremely dangerous and they would have NO time to react to save her. That mini is striking with its front feet. That is often even more deadly than a kick and is a sign of aggression. Our group all love ponies. Our group all love ponies. That’s why we have them but you have to understand that they are not like dogs and respect their strength and the damage they can do.”
This is not to say that kids shouldn’t be around horses. Kids are naturally drawn to horses. Who wouldn’t be? They are beautiful, intelligent, and extremely graceful. And, EquiSearch notes, they are an excellent antidote to TV-watching and the internet. And as kids get older, horseback riding can help them connect with nature.
So here’s how to safely introduce your kid to a pony:
First of all, if your child is with the pony, you’re with the pony. In the video above, the toddler’s mom (we’ll assume the woman is the child’s mom since we’re not really sure), lets her wander around behind the horse, something that horses instinctively don’t like. And horses are known to kick in these kinds of situations. If you and your child are going to approach a pony, you should talk to it a little bit to avoid startling it. The safest way to approach the pony is from the side, definitely not from behind, where it can’t see you.
In the next step, you should touch the pony on the neck or shoulder first, stroking it gently. Keep in mind that if you’re approaching the pony while it’s in a paddock and there are other horses around, they could accidentally bump into or step on you or your child.
A horse or a pony can be a wonderful family pet, but this is a case where it’s good to remember that what you don’t know can hurt your child.
Here’s the video in question below, and yes — it really is cute.
Featured image by Christian Tatonetti via YouTube video