Dreams do come true. Some months ago, out of a coincidence, I met with Dianne CobbPennisi, an American with years of passion for horses and experience in competitive riding and desire to have horses back in her life as a retired airhostess settled now in Bangalore, teaching English in the Japanese community. What was clear from the initial meeting with this remarkable woman was that here would be the person with whom I could start developing the pony camp activities to help to raise funds for the shelter maintenance as well as to help to keep our horses and ponies regularly handled to help in their regular care and aid in their prospects to possibly get rehomed one day.
This weekend was the first trial as we held two Silver Shoe Stables Day Camps, first one on Saturday for 10 girls and then on Sunday for 3 boys. Silver Shoe Pony Club –concept is an initiative we begun already some years ago as a way to bring children and our rescued horses and ponies together and we have arranged several small gymkhana-type shows under that banner but for further development it has been lacking a volunteer force to drive it on with me. With Dianne wanting to help out and being very driven for this type of work, I finally think we can do it!
Assisted by four regular and experienced Silver Shoe Pony Club members; the junior Otters as well as their best friends, we had a weekend full of fun activities, all focused in gaining confidence to be around horses safely. We practiced grooming, leading, tying the safety knot, tacking up and mounting a horse. We did a trail ride to the river where we had lunch and played games with the horses, we rested during the hottest hour of the day and then got back to the horses doing more practice in balancing on a horse and in the basic aids to get a horse moving and make it to stop or turn. In the end there was an egg- and-spoon race with a Silver Shoe Stables –ribbon to the winner! Some participants also got to prepare the evening feed to some ponies.
It was remarkable to notice that someone who came in seeming quite reserved and hesitant to be around animals could go through such change and get well involved and interested towards the end. A little boy who was first little anxious and wanted to call his mom, was concerned after couple of hours that the day would be over at some point but he wanted to stay longer. Real moments of connection with the horses were seen in the end when the participants washed the horses after the riding and got to interact with them for some time without any ropes or halters.
We also had a demonstration of ‘join-up’ – a method of communicating with the horse using horses’ own language and asking him to first go away and then invite him to join-up with the human, to be friends. After this ‘join-up’ a horse will follow the human without any ropes and turn and halt as the human turns or stops. Very impressive demonstration by Emma & Emma.
In the future these Silver Shoe Day Camps will be arranged as per request for ready-made –groups of 4-10 children at a time and also some camp dates will be set and advertised for the future. There will be also free pony club activities for the kids from the surrounding villages as well as those from special needs schools as per interest and requests. All funds go towards the care and maintenance of the rescued ponies and horses at the Hill View Farm Animal Refuge.
Olen Ilona, kolkytjarisat eläinlääkäri ja kahden ponitytön äiti. Tulin Intiaan yli kymmenen vuotta sitten vapaaehtoistyöhön ja jäin sille/tälle tielle. Blogissa kerron elämästämme ja eläimistämme Intiassa.