Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This is why I bitch about small children left unattended with horses

This news story is worth of being front page on the blog.

I agree with most of you that horses are great for kids and an early introduction is fine - but you just have to use your brain. Your toddler should be in your arms or being held with both hands on the back of the horse for a picture. He should not be running around in the paddock with loose horses. She should not be sitting on the ground hugging your stallion's leg. It is a 1,000 pound animal with hooves like rocks and the ability to move far more quickly than you can react. I am sure every single person on this blog knows of a mature, experienced adult who got killed by a horse in a freak accident. I know I do.

Now, I would never recommend that any of us tiptoe through life, avoiding all risk. I love horses and I'm going to work around them forever, but I try to use good judgment and minimize my risk, and that's all I'm asking those of you who are parents to do. I know many of you have little kids growing up on the farm and you know there's a big difference between letting them run around with the chickens and letting them run around with horses or cattle. And selling a horse is never a good enough reason to endanger your child like some kind of marketing tool "Look how quiet he is - he lets little Suzy crawl between his back legs!" Seriously, is a couple thousand dollars going to be worth it when your child winds up with brain damage??? Just use a little good judgment - no one likes to read stories like this, and think about someone whose life has been extinguished before it even began, or think about what Christmas is going to be like for these parents.