I have always loved horses, so it was only natural that M became passionate about horses a few years ago. Not long after, so did R. Interestingly, although R is not biologically related, her birthmother also happens to love horses, and has owned a couple over time. Nature or nurture? Only God knows for sure.
Nonetheless, we decided it might benefit the younger kiddos to have their own equine to play with, albeit one that was a bit safer, and less potentially deadly like the larger horses. When an acquaintance’s children outgrew their miniature horse, we decided to buy him.
Clyde, aptly named due to the fact he was raised on a Clydesdale farm, was such a character! He was a 6 year old registered mini gelding, already fully trained to pull a cart and be ridden. We also didn’t have to stress too much about introducing him to our little herd, since he already knew his way around big horses.
A and N played with Clyde a little every now and then, but R absolutely loved him! She often begged me to show her how to do things, and over the months, became quite good at picking up his feet, cleaning his hooves, and with a bit of help from big sis, they would braid his hair, and generally play with him. And, of course, she would ride! She rode every chance she got. Sometimes she rode bareback, other times she liked to saddle up and join us on the trail.
JR actually took a liking to driving Clyde, so he would occasionally have me harness and hitch up and tag along on a ride through neighborhood streets.
Unfortunately, as the months passed, JR’s interest waned a bit, while R’s interest soared. However, as she became a better rider, she also grew….FAST! We had expected Clyde to suite her for at least a couple of years, but she hit a growth spurt over the summer, and it was clear that Clyde was being outgrown all too quickly.
We debated hanging on to him and training him to be a work horse for the kiddos, but R’s passion was riding, and she really had little interest in driving. The boys didn’t have much interest either. So, rather than let such a great, kid-safe horse sit around and go to waste, we decided to pass him on the next lucky children. He’ll be missed, but we had a lot of fun with him while it lasted!