LOCKWOOD – The Soledad YMCA summer program's 26 youth attended a field trip to Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Lockwood for the second year last Thursday.
The children, wearing their yellow YMCA shirts, were split up into three groups for stations that taught different things, then rotated. The kids' ages varied from four to age eleven.
Linda Plumb of Redwings said, “One of the groups would watch a pony get trimmed. The kids could come up and take the hoof and see what it looked like. The kids just loved seeing that.”
Another group would watch how a person could use a physical massage to make the horses feel better. The children could see and smell what horses could eat, adding to the educational side of the trip.
“Some of the kids even recognized some of the aromas,” said Plumb. “They were pretty fascinated by that.”
The sanctuary takes in horses that have been neglected, abused or abandoned and not only was it a fun day for kids in summer camp, it also taught them valuable lessons about responsibility.
“We want these young children to learn early about kindness of all animals and responsibility for when they have an animal,” said Plumb. She also pointed out the importance of learning to respect animals. “When children are abusive to animals, studies show that there’s a likely chance they will be abusive to humans.”
One of the more impactful things was the stories they heard about a few of the horses. Plumb said, “They heard stories and met a few horses they heard stories about.”
Because they do save horses from bad situations, including neglect, abuse and abandonment, it really touched the kids.
“They are quite sensitive,” said Plumb. “They would say, how someone can do this to this nice horse?”
The kids got cart rides, saw huge work horses and got to see the burrow pasture. They met the little pony Penelope and the largest of workhorses, Calypso.
This was the second year the YMCA summer program visited Redwings Sanctuary. Plumb explained, “One of the leaders, Andrea Wasson, moved into the Lockwood area and she came to visit.”
After her visit she was inspired to make a trip out there with the summer program. “She said I could bring the kids over and she brought them over last year and this year,” said Plumb
For the complete article see the 06-27-2012 issue.
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