The Happiness of Children
I believe in the smiles of children. I never realized how much joy a simple horse back ride can bring to a child until this fall. I have loved horses since I was little. I rode my first horse when I was two and riding horses has been a calming, joyful event ever since. Now I have given other children this experience. This all started when I volunteered to bring my horse Ty down to our local arena to participate in a Gymkhana.
A gymkhana is what you call a lot of games on horseback that you turn into a competition. So I rode down and helped setup, once the competitors (the kids) arrived we paired them up with a horse for the first event. Just to get the kids acquainted and used to all the horses we played a game of follow the leader, I noticed the kids faces. They seemed nervous but pleased at the same time. Once the kids were acquainted the real games started, and they all had smiles on their faces whether they won or lost that game.
When I eventually had to leave I left knowing everyone had a great time. The other time that really got my attention was when I went to a horse birthday party where once again I would lead kids around on Ty. All of the kids were eager to ride. But there were three kids that I felt an immediate connection to, they sent off a feeling of extreme joy and happiness. Much more than the other kids that got on Ty, two girls and one boy.
They had the biggest smiles on their faces the entire time and were much more chatty than the rest of group. They all talked about how they liked horses and how they liked riding. They asked about Ty, and Talked about the other horses and their pets. But when I asked one of the little girls if she wanted a horse she said yes, but her parents wouldn’t let her. Which I understand because most people don’t have room for such a large animal.
So I asked if she had a dog or any pet for that matter and again she said no because her parents wouldn’t let her. I was shocked, I couldn’t imagine not having at least one pet because I think it teaches children to be loving and responsible. I not only believe in the smiles of children but also in their happiness and childhood. I believe children should be allowed to have a pet so they have a reason to smile.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.