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Taking a horse for presentation at school

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ThreeCFarm

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On a field trip to the zoo the other day, my son's pre-K teacher asked if I could bring a mini to the school in a few weeks. I have a gelding that is as close to bombproof as it gets, he is used to making public appearances, and he's used to children. This is for 36 (two pre-K classes, 18 kids each) 4 and 5 year olds.

Any suggestions on what to do? I've never taken one to a school before. My gelding, Bob, has done parades for years, he shows in just about all of the performance classes, and in his first few months of driving, I did a nighttime Christmas parade with him. After the parade was over, we had to drive back to the trailer in the dark, with just another single mini driving horse, and a team of minis. An ambulance went by in the dark, running hot (lights and siren). They didn't even slow down. My heart was in my throat, but my gelding just stopped, turned his head to get a look at what was coming up behind him, then he continued walking and never missed a beat as it flew by him.
I think he's safe to take to school!
 

Carolyn R

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Been there. Best thing to do is line the kids up so you can walk the horse past them. This allows you to pause every couple of feet and let the kids pet the horse. Everyone that chooses to pet him can have a chance without crowding the horse from all sides, and it prevents the children that are animal lovers from hogging the frontline and preventing others from being able to pet the horse. (I was one of the animal hoggers growing up!)

If your horse jumps or climbs steps, the kids love to see this, so you can set up a jump or two to run them through, if your horse does this.

If it is an elementary school with pre-k, be prepared to be there an hour or two longer, all the teachers end up taking turns bringing their classes out to see the horses.

Treats aren't a really great idea, it is hard to get that many kids to avoid feeding fingers to the horses, and usually the teachers ARE GREATFUL YOU AVOID THIS.

A good twist on the treat thing, bring a container of apples or carrot sticks for the teacher to give to the kids after they have gone back to the room and washed their hands. Tell them it is one of your horses favorite, healthy treats an he wanted to share them with the kids. If you google horse coloring pages, you can print off some coloring sheets for them when they get back to the classroom.

Be prepared to have them ask what that thing is hanging underneath him. Usually just saying, "Oh, they are his little boy parts," is enough to tame their curiosity.

Most of all, have fun!

Carolyn
 

ThreeCFarm

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Be prepared to have them ask what that thing is hanging underneath him. Usually just saying, "Oh, they are his little boy parts," is enough to tame their curiosity.

Most of all, have fun!

Carolyn
OMG, I never gave that a thought!!

Yes, Bob does jump, I bet the kids would find that exciting. And that is a good idea, to have the kids line up and I'll walk Bob past them. Thanks, Carolyn!
 

minie812

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We have taken POCO our oldest mare to "show & tail" quite a few times and this last time there were 68 children. The classes set out on the grass and we had question & answer time and then they filed through and got to touch and pet POCO & two weanlings that I brought along (my daughter met us at the school and helped handle the babies) and it was good for the weanlings to get all that loving. Some of the kids had never seen a mini up close and even the principal came out to join us...we have been asked to come back again this fall for more with the kids and I will be taking two of our yearlings with Poco this time. It is great fun for everyone
 

Loess Hills

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Stephanie - We took some horses to school for a friend's daughter in 2nd grade. Well, word got around, and they asked us to do a short presentation for all the classes K-5..........about 300 kids.

We took our driving gelding who was always so laid back and gentle, and a 5-month old weanling filly. The gelding was not cooperative at all! He ended up tied to the trailer where the kids could look at him.....but he wanted no part of the performance.

The weanling filly loved people and was such a doll for everyone. We had the kids come out by grades and make a big circle around us on a grassy section of the school yard so that everyone could see the horse. Also had a table with information, posters, pictures, etc. that they could file past. I'd saved ribbons from all the shows, and each class got a large ribbon for the class bulletin board, along with a horse poster (I'd gotten those free at some show). Everyone who wanted to got a chance to touch the filly, (some didn't want to get too close!) and they asked lots of questions........including how they have babies! I think the teachers were even more intriqued then the kids.

I'd gotten a purple halter and a lavender lead for the filly and so many little girls loved that!


It was fun, but exhausting, and my voice was gone by the end of the afternoon. If I had it to do again, I'd definitely want to have a smaller group. Oh, and neither of the horses had any accidents, although we were prepared for that.

Be sure to follow up and give us a report on your experiences. Good luck!
 

Lil' Horse Lover

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I took a three month old colt that I had to an elementary school, he was a VERY special colt. What we did was we put a bun bag on him, bought some little baby socks and shoes from Wal-Mart, and took him in our Suburban to Southside Elementary which is about 15 mins away or so. He did WONDERFULLY! We took him inside and took him around the different classrooms. The teacher just had the kids sit down at their desks and we just went around and let each child have some time petting him. We just walked around and let them pet him for a couple minutes. The kids LOVED it! The teacher told them that they would be having a special visiter, boy were they happy about seeing Smokie! Of course I wouldn't recommend taking a horse inside the classrooms unless you were sure that they would do ok and not be overwhelmed, this colt that we took had the most docile and sweet temperment, he was a very special boy, I don't think I'll ever see another one like him. Anyways good luck and have fun!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Take along a couple of brushes and let them brush, if you are comfortable with that. Show them teeth, hooves, where the tail really is. Ask them to identify all the parts--mane, ears, etc.

I would not do treats. You might bring some hay to show what he likes to eat. Find out what letter the class might be studying, and maybe there are some things that start with that letter. I took mine when the class studied the letter H.

Here are some youngsters checking out DD's pearly whites.



Have fun!
 

Bonny

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This is so wonderful! What great ideas and stories!

Have fun with the kids!

I was thinking take a picture with the class that you can send to school after to post in the class would be neat!
 

SirenFarms

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I have taken my gelding to school for my animal sciences class and it was great. Sometime in the next couple of weeks my physics teacher wants me to bring one of the horses for one of his lessons but i have no idea what it is about yet lol
 

angel_cowgirl

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That sounds like fun for the kids! Remind the teachers beforehand or the kids when you first get there to be calm and not yell, that typical kind of thing. Sure ya'd already thought of that, but that was just the first thing that came to my mind.
 

MiLo Minis

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Forewarned is forearmed!!!
I've got that exact same question many times! Of course I wasn't expecting it the first time and got a little flustered
but did manage to come up with the same type answer


I have taken a foal every year to the kindergarten class in the school my daughter goes to for the last 10 years - before Mickey started there my friends had kids there. They love it!!! Now, when I go, the older kids ask whose baby it is and are really tickled when it is the baby of one they met before. Mickey helps me now that it isn't going to her class and that satisfies her too


I give a little talk on Miniature Horses, what they are, and where they come from and then I do a question and answer period with one question from each child. They each get to come up individually and pat the horse when they ask their question. We have been mobbed by unruly classes on occasion though at which point I hold the horse with my arms around the chest and butt so that I can pretty much control its actions in case of panic, then I ask the teacher to please have them sit back down so they don't frighten the baby.

I have taken adult and young horses to quite a few indoor places such as retirement homes, fairs, schools and the like and I don't put anything on them in the way of diapers or shoes. I have never had one "go" in the building and neither do they slip easily on the floors as long as you keep them at a walk.

You, Bob and Chris are going to have a fun day!!!
 

ThreeCFarm

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Thanks for the suggestions and stories! I think we'll be outside for this, which will make things easier. For my first time, I think I'll just stick with taking my gelding, Bob. He and I have been through a lot together, and I know what he's capable of--the kids are another matter, LOL. I figure if they want me back next year, at least I'll have some experience and know how I can jazz it up a bit.

Marsha, that is a cute picture!! Did you use DD's teeth as an example of why they should brush, LOL?
 
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