This time at the barn was quite momentous because G not only got on the pony but asked to get on, repeatedly. Each time, he had a great big smile on his face. Needless to say, I was a proud equestrian mom. I also was in awe as after our arrival, he took my hand and led me to the tack room to retrieve requisite grooming supplies and treats, already becoming aware of the riding “routine” that is very much a part of any horseman/horsewoman’s equestrian experience. For me, there is an additional peace in the routine of handling a horse, of course absent those cold and windy days when horses are extra frisky and can be out of sorts. He also stood on his stool and used both the curry comb and body brush. While G is still working on talking I reminded him of safety in handling horses. For example, watch the head and tail of the pony. Notice the position of the ears which can indicate a great deal as to a horse’s mood (e.g. forward, neutral position, flickering, or back), the tail (e.g. swishing, swatting, or resting), and to keep an eye for any sensitive spots while grooming, (e.g. flinching or gnashing of teeth). One will notice in one of the photos, I am monitoring the pony’s head a bit while G grooms–even the kindest and most gentle of horses can be unpredictable–such is the nature of animals. Of course, a visit to Lulu, the baby calf, was in order. On my list of outstanding items, purchase riding helmet and paddock boots for G.