by Donna Wilson
Linus, as many already know, is my much beloved curly gelding. He's been such an awesome companion and partner for me. We've learned so much from each other and I could not possibly imagine a better match for me in an equine partner.
What I also never imagined was the power Linus would have over children. Children and my big, red boy are drawn to each other like magnets. One child in particular, a 9 year old boy, is gaining so much from Linus.
This lucky boy is Griffin and he is my nephew. Griffin was there the day Linus came home and laughed at his small but gangly stature. He did not expect a little guy!
Griffin visits on weekends during the school year and adds as many days as possible in the summer. In the 2 years since I've had Linus, Griffin has enjoyed hand-feeding him and watching Linus and I do all kinds of things with all kinds of props. Earlier this summer Griffin was blown away when I asked if he was ready to have a ride on Linus. He was thrilled and more than a little nervous. By the end of that ride Griffin was beaming and already looking forward to the next weekend so he could ride again.
Griffin has to be pretty grown up at his house in the city. His farm visits let him be a kid and he completely let's go of everything when he helps with Linus. He absorbs everything I tell him about Linus and even educated his friend recently.
Griffin is gaining so much self esteem and confidence from tending to and riding Linus that he doesn't even notice its like therapy for him. He is comfortable riding in a saddle or bareback pad and often rides with his arms outstretched to practice his balance. He will soon get to pick up the reins himself without me leading Linus.
Its a heartwarming feeling seeing Griffin so happy and confident. The feeling grows knowing my young horse and I helped him feel that way. I hope Griffin knows he always has a warm, safe hug waiting for him.
Thank you Linus. You are incredible.