The best thing about growing up is making friends.

When I was a little foal I thought I should only make friends with other horses and ponies who were just like me!  Since I came to live on the Meadow sixteen years ago I realised that I could be a friend to many other creatures.

The Three Happy Dogs are my friends, the Chickens are my friends, the Meadow Birds are my friends and the Wild Rabbits are my friends. I have even discovered that Kevin, Benjamin and Aristotle, the dogs on the farm next door, have a sheep for their best friend!  She is called Elizabeth and just loves playing doggy games with them. Best of all, I love my friendship with the Meadow Folk.

Humans try to be good and kind and they make very good friends. I especially love children. They have lovely high voices and are low enough on the ground for me to see their interesting faces!

Over the past few weeks we have had the chance to make new friends with the many, many little children who have come to the Meadow to say “Hello” to me and the other Meadow ponies.  On a sunny Wednesday morning children, all dressed in blue, came from the Tangara School in their little bus.  What fun we had!  I listened to their lovely voices and they listened to mine. They even tried to whinny and snort just like little ponies!

Learning how to say “hello” is not always easy.  I think the most important thing to do is to look your new friend in the eye as though to say “I see you and I think you can see me too!” I don’t think humans know how to sniff and nuzzle each other but we ponies love to sniff and nuzzle. It is our special way of saying “I really like being with you!”

The very next Sunday, with the rain bucketing down, the children from the All Stars Early Learning pre-school in Sydney came to visit me.  They had driven for two hours through the rain and were very glad to finally reach the Meadow! They came with their teachers, parents and even a big sister or two!

After we said “hello”, I invited the little children to ride on my back. Of course, they all put on a special riding helmet! I think that some of them were scared at first but the big folk said kind words, which helped the little children to be brave. I made sure I walked passed the Big Mirror so the children could see themselves on my back. They looked quite pleased!  Then Pippy, the white pony, came along to meet everyone and Jodie- Lee Usherwood put on a galloping show in the indoor arena. Pippy was shy and Jodie-Lee was very excited! She does like to show off! At the end of the morning, Anja, a very kind  teacher at the pre-school and a special friend of mine,  introduced the children to Mr Kalinsky.  Mr Kalinsky, or “Kal” for short, is the beautiful palomino horse who used to be a bully but who is now a very dear friend to us all.

The only sad thing about the day was that the children didn’t get a chance to meet Little Freddie, the chihauhau with the very long legs! All the while Freddie had been hiding  in the cabbage patch with his imaginary friend Faberge! Freddie is so very, very shy and still has to learn how to say “hello” to new friends. I wonder how we could help him!

Do you know how to say “hello” and make new friends?

Ryan O’Brien