The video below, despite being several years old, is making the rounds of Facebook and a few web sites devoted to “cute”, “precious” videos. One web site described the video as follows:
Her parents surprised this one-year-old girl with a tiny horse. The two playmates instantly hit it off and went frolicking in the grassy field.
Both were extremely excited and joyful, while her parents looking on in the background to ensure safety. Such a great memory for this young girl, surely one she will never forget!
There is nothing cute about this video. Those of us who own equines just about can’t watch this because of the very imminent danger the toddler is in. Equines, regardless of the size, have a very definitive etiquette which is communicated via non-verbal behavior. The toddler is understandably ignorant of the signals the pony is giving but there is no excuse for the parents who have placed their child in extreme danger. It’s cringe worthy, not cute.
When the pony chases the girl in the first few seconds, this is a dominance action, as in, “he who gets the other to move away is the leader”. My dominant pony “herds” her subordinates every day.
At .40 seconds the toddler squeals and waves her arms at the pony who interprets the behavior as a challenge to the pony’s perception of who is herd dominant and turns her butt towards the child. At .44 the toddler runs after the pony who aims her back end at the toddler again. At 1:24 the chase is on again, 1:32 the pony momentarily had her butt in target range, 1:36 the pony is swerving her butt towards the child again. At 1:42 the pony squeals and lashes out at the toddler…there is nothing playful about this, it’s all dominance and turns her butt towards the toddler again. 1:56 the pony yet again turns her butt towards the child as she approaches and at 2:03 the child is in perfect target range to get her head or chest kicked.
Had the child been kicked, the pony would have been destroyed as dangerous when in reality it was just being an equine, doing what equines do and giving plenty of warnings. Had I been witness to this, there would have been no polite or civil discussion with the parents as to why this was dangerous because tragedy can happen within seconds. Repeat, there is nothing cute about this video. It is child endangerment because the ignorant parents did not understand equine manners and behavior. The horse that kicks you has politely warned you first.