5 Skills Ponies teach Children – #1 Focus

Over the past 7 years we, at Oregon Dream Ponies, have worked with hundreds if not thousands of children and ponies.  Children amaze us with their attention, curiosity, bravery, connectivity and tenacity as they work with real live equines that have filled their daily dreams prior to their visit. Excitement quickly turns to a laser-focused child whose joy is now replaced with collegiate levels of concentration on every instruction.  Parents watch in complete astonishment with many asking their child if they are ok as this elevated attention looks strange.  We are quick to share that children often take their visit very seriously.  They likely talk non-stop about their pony time later but when they are here they don’t want to miss a single detail.  And, that leads us to the first skill ponies teach children – FOCUS.  Believe it or not, children actually can focus but they will be tired afterwards.  Focus takes energy as we know as adults.  Many times the required energy creates shivers, liking of coolness, when really it is just the body funneling resources to engage brain-work.  When parents ask their child if they are cold or want a coat, they are met with a quick “No!” so they can get back to their pony time.  The pinnacle moment of when children first mount their ponies and are in the saddle for the first time is met with parent requests of “Smile!” to capture this monumental accomplishment.   Children look over with blank stares or cheesy smiles shrugging off the “Disney” moment wanting to return to their task at hand.   Regularly, parents share that they have never seen their children focus like this.  We share, “Well now you can tell them that they can focus if they really want to.” 🙂