Horses are incredibly intelligent animals. But this horse has really gone above and beyond in helping a child overcome his challenges.
After 15 years of working with horses, Roni Nili-Green thought that she knew all that there was to know about equine behavior.
But then she introduced her son to her horse, and she learned something that no classroom could teach.
Roni’s son has Williams Syndrome.
It causes him to have learning and developmental difficulties. He also struggles to form connections with others. Roni’s son is an affectionate person. But he does not know how to handle social situations in ways that others find acceptable. In fact, like many with Williams Syndrome, he has a tendency to be overkeen and come on too strong.
But then Roni introduced her horse to her son, and something amazing happened.
The horse seemed to understand that Roni’s son was different. So the horse approached the child slowly. The boy looked up to the horse and made eye contact. The horse waited for the boy to initiate social interaction.
Then the boy looked away, concerned that he would upset the horse, as he had done with people by coming on too strong.
But the horse stayed put, making the child know that he was welcome to just be himself.
Then the horse approached the boy slowly some more.
The boy walked up to the horse and rested his cheek on the horse’s nose.
He looked to his mom, as if to say, “Wow, I’m so happy to have made a new friend.”
Then the boy looked at the horse’s eyes and pet his nose gently.
Next, the boy pet the horse’s leg. The horse was happy for the boy to do this.
So the boy hugged the horse’s leg.
After a few minutes, the boy moved away to play.
The horse followed him, keen to remain friends with the child.
Roni decided to upload the footage to YouTube, where it went viral. To date, it has gained over 11.3 million views. It also has more than 27,000 likes and 1,900 comments.
People have been saying things like this:
Some people may think that the horse wasn’t really doing all that much for the boy. But clearly, the horse was expressing a lot of empathy.
And studies have shown that horses are great at reading human emotions.
In fact, they are able to read facial expressions and remember people’s prior dispositions. They even respond in more positive ways to people that they’ve seen smiling in the past and in less positive ways to people that they’ve seen frowning in the past.
So that footage was just the beginning of what will hopefully be a very special connection between the horse and Roni’s son.
Roni’s son will always have Williams Syndrome. But this is nothing to be ashamed of. Just because he is different does not mean that he is wrong. If a horse understands this and can accept him for who he is, then other people should do the same thing.
You can watch the heartwarming video below!
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