Horse visits children at Woodhill kindergarten

Natalie Hall and her Waler horse Annie visited C&K Community Kindergarten on November 8 as a treat for the children and to help them understand the history of the Light Horse Regiment.

The event was held as Australia acknowledged the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba and in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

Teacher Katrina Smith said they were grateful to Natalie, one of the kindergarten mums who had offered to come and speak to the children and had given the children the opportunity to  meet the type of horse so important to Australian history.

“Natalie brought in books to read to the children the week before they met Annie, so they had a bit of background to help with their understanding of how animals protected humans in battle,” she said.

“From an adult point of view it was touching to see their little emotions when we read them Midnight – the Story of the Light Horse because in the story, the horse dies in battle.”

Mrs Smith said Natalie and Annie were very involved in Anzac Day ceremonies. 

“Annie had an original saddle from the Light Horse Regiment,” she said.

“The children were able to feed her carrots, apples and oranges then, wearing protective helmets, they proudly sat on her and her 100-year-old saddle.

‘They learned about the slouch hat, and got to try one on for size too.”

Mrs Smith said the horse was there for about an hour and a half, during which time Annie was very patient with all 22 children at the kindergarten.

“It’s wonderful that we live in a community that gives our children such great experiences,” she said.

“All the children were so excited about the day and I think they will be talking about it for a long time to come.”