Looking at a beautiful fairy tale photograph of a ‘princess to be’ galloping romantically on her noble steed, is certainly an inspiring image. Yet in real life, that wonder and that magic truly exists when we are simply in the presence of a horse.
It may sound simply a ‘charming notion’ but I have felt for myself the breathtaking and yet humbling experience bestowed, when horses place their trust in us and respond to our questions… Better still, this fairy tale comes to life for children in need of extra support.
I was very fortunate to volunteer with a local ‘RDA – Riding for the Disabled’ Charity group some years ago – RDA offers children of all ages the glorious opportunity to ride horses and ponies. Children with a variety of individual and special requirements and challenges are given a willing and noble steed of their own to groom, bond with and ride – and the results are beautiful.
Children afraid to speak, delight in whispering their worries into the soft ears of a gentle pony. Boys and girls glow from ear to ear, when above them, a towering horse tenderly nuzzles their hand for a carrot or apple treat.
Children living in a world that no one else can enter, experience connection with a living creature that does not pressure or judge them in anyway. They are safe. They are understood.
And children with physical limitations ride with such courage and expression, it is as if they have grown wings – as their mounts carry them fearlessly.
Witnessing moments such as these, filled me with warmth and deep admiration for the horses and ponies that so stoically accept and keep their young riders safe. Their intuition seems to innately detect the children’s vulnerabilities and yet they do not take advantage – they simply take care of them.
For me, this is where you see real magic – and beautiful photos of Cinderella riding her majestic horse really do come to life – for that is exactly how the children feel when mounted upon their noble steeds – like a hero or heroine from their very own fairy tale.