Horsemanship, Star Wars among Arlington Library’s Efforts to Engage Children
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 10, 2012, August 10, 2012

Giselle Roundtree approached Lucky the horse and nervously reached her arm to pet him.

Roundtree, 6, had already learned that horses like carrots, apples and peppermints, and that some could run as fast as 25 miles per hour.

But when she got close to the 5-year-old miniature horse, nerves struck. Two tries later, Giselle worked up the courage to pet Lucky.

"I like horses and wanted to learn some more," Giselle said, after petting Lucky. "But I got a little nervous being so close."

Giselle recently attended Horsemanship for Kids at Southwest Arlington Branch Library, one of many kid-oriented activities offered by the Arlington Public Library.

Summer is prime time for such programs, and story time, magic shows and even fun fitness and nutrition classes have been among the library's regular offerings.

But the libraries also provide more unusual classes, such as horsemanship, to engage children and their parents.

"This is a community service," said Buffy Puls, a program specialist for the library. "We saw a need for more horse education, and we thought this would be a great, hands-on way to provide that education."

More family-friendly events are on the way to Arlington libraries.

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Central Library will host Family Star Wars Night, complete with games, activities, Jedis and villains. Prizes and treats will be given away throughout the evening, and Star Wars fans are encouraged to dress in costume. The event is 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Also on Aug. 14, the library will team up with Arlington Animal Services to host "Writing the Adventures of Dora the Cat."

Participants in grades kindergarten through fifth will use their imagination to write their own story of Dora, a black cat who made news when she ventured from her Arlington home and was found almost a year later in Durango, Colorado. That begins at 6:30 p.m. at Animal Services, 1000 S.E. Green Oaks Blvd.

At the recent horsemanship class, participants passed around Lucky's food, got a lesson in how to brush a horse's mane and picked up a few riding tips. Kids also discussed the commitment required to care for a horse.

"Unfortunately, we see a lot of people who want horses for pets and don't realize how much work and money it involves," said Jenna Jones, a trainer with K & R Stables in Alvarado, who taught the horsemanship class. "We want people to fully understand the commitment before they jump in."

Sarah Norman, 10, said she jumped at the chance to see a horse up close.

"I'm a big animal lover," Norman said, "but we don't get a lot of opportunities to pet horses at home."

Engage Children

Library, News