Reflecting on Kindness: Creating an Environment to Learn and Grow

By _Amaya_Collins_ March 07, 2019

In this exclusive “Reflecting on Kindness” series, Ponysitters Club members reflect back on moments from episodes that allowed them to express different forms of kindness.

In this week’s journal entry, Ethan demonstrates kindness through the themes of anxiety, confidence, self-discovery, and self-care. She shares how these themes allowed her to express kindness by creating an understanding environment to learn and grow.

Ethan isn’t a natural leader and doesn’t take to the rescue animals quite like Skye. However, when a blind horse comes to Rescue Ranch in “Recipe of Success” (S02E01), Grandpa helps Ethan find a fast friend whose temperament is more in line with his than the more outgoing Ponysitters. He learns that even horses have individual differences, and this encourages him to feel confident participating in his own way and prioritizing self-care. Even animals can help inspire kindness.


Dear diary,

I’ve got a story for you today, and this one’s not about Trish driving me crazy for once! Well, Trish is in it, and she was driving me crazy, but there’s more to it than that.

So there’s this new horse at Rescue Ranch, Winston. He was a workhorse all his life, and now that he’s getting older he’s gone blind and needs help finding his way around new places. He still has a great sense of smell, but he mostly uses that to find out if there are treats around.

When he first arrived, Trish was “helping” me sweep the barn (if you can call singing and dancing around a pile of hay helping). Grandpa brought Winston in and told us his owner gave him up because he couldn’t work on the farm anymore. I felt so bad for him — just because he can’t do all the things he used to, doesn’t mean he’s useless!

I checked on him later, and Grandpa told me he wasn’t settling in very well. I snapped a couple of pictures, and before I knew it he was right next to me letting me pet him! Grandpa says horses can sense if you’ve got a kind heart and if you do, they’ll make friends with you right away. I felt so special because usually it’s Skye who’s the best at connecting with animals, but Winston chose me!

After Grandpa said that, I wanted to hang out with Winston all the time! I helped feed him and showed him all around the Ranch so he could get comfortable with all the places he can go. Trish and I gave him treats, but she got carried away and started jumping up and down and singing again. I explained to her that Winston likes peace and quiet and that lots of noise and excitement might be fun for her, but they make him nervous. I kind of feel that way sometimes too — I love all my Ponysitter friends, but I also love just being by myself some of the time. Sometimes it feels like I’m out of energy and my batteries need recharging, and drawing or taking pictures or just having some quiet time alone helps charge them right back up. I guess horses are more like people than I thought!

I never thought a horse could teach me a lesson about myself, but Winston has helped me learn that it’s okay to take a little extra time getting comfortable in new situations, and that some people (and horses) need quiet time alone to reset. I’m definitely going to be spending lots more time with Winston in the future — but if sometimes he’s not feeling like it, that’s okay too.

Did you know that kids can become a real member of the Ponysitters Club? Learn how to join and be sure to inspire your kids to be doers by downloading the 4-H Inspire Kids to Do Activity Guide!