Through the many years that we have bred miniature horses we have found that one of the best ways to introduce our horses to the public, other than by participating in shows, is taking them where groups gather, especially to libraries. We have taken them to many libraries and are on the summer schedule for our local library. Every summer, usually in July, we bring some horses to the library for their summer reading program. Through the years our crowd have increased every year and last year or the year before we were asked to add a second program because the crowds were getting too big for one session. We start out in a meeting room in the library with the kids who are mostly five to eight years old, sitting on the floor and adults in chairs around the rim of the room or standing in the hallway leading to the room.
This year our first group, which we usually plan on approximately fifty to seventy, was huge. The librarian told us that it was the biggest group that they had ever had for one of their programs. She tried to count, but finally gave up and estimated that we had almost two hundred there. Almost as many waiting outside as there were inside. Inside we talk about miniatures: their use, colors, size, “what do you do with them,” “horse terminology” i.e. stallions, colts, etc., and general care. The kids usually come up with interesting questions. Lauren has been helping with the presentations since she was little and does a great job with the kids.
This year, as for the past three or four years, we had some of the Thursday Kids help with the sessions. One of the three who helped this year was actually one in the audience two years ago. The program so caught her interest that he mother brings her about thirty miles to our ranch every Thursday and she has bee showing with us the past year and a half. I checked through some of our pictures and found her in a few of them from 2010.
After our session inside, we lined up and went outside where the kids sat on the sidewalk and we introduce the horses we brought. The first, brought out by Anijah, who is helping for the third year with the program, was Little America’s Da Vinci Memory, a tiny appaloosa yearling filly. She measures 24″.
Kameron, Casey, and Anijah talked to the kids about their favorite things about miniature horses and shows. Here are Casey and Kameron waiting to bring out Bar B Destiny’s Over the Rainbow who demonstrated jumping, backing, side-passing and pivoting. Casey is holding two year old Little America’s Fan Man, also 24″. This is Fan Man’s third visit to the Buda Library, having come as a foal, then as a yearling, and now as a maturing two-year-old.
After all the horses had been introduced and questions answered we closed with the highlight, letting everyone have a chance to pet them and have their pictures with the horses.