Baby And Beast
It could not have been a surprise that young Emma was so comfortable around horses. Her dad, Justin, had begun riding as a child and had made horsemanship his career years later. Aside from private training, he also led rides for children with cancer.
Human And Horse
Most importantly, though, Justin was passionate about building strong friendships and mutual understanding between human and horse. “Trade places with your horse and treat them the way you would want to be treated,” his website reads.
Mustangs Are Unpredictable
The breed of horse known as a Mustang, is known for being quite a handful, and difficult to train, as they have free minds and tend to be quite stubborn. Yet these were his favorite, and he so wanted his daughter to grow up loving horses just like he did.
Training Up His Favorite
One horse in particular, called Cinnamon had a special place in his heart, and he was getting ready to train it up, so that he could teach his daughter a thing or two about riding, in hopes that she would grow up learning the reins.
Not Enough Time In Training
The Colorado-based horse trainer had only spent 25 days training Cinnamon before his two-year-old daughter took the horse’s reins. During that time though, Justin said Emma and her mustang had forged a close link.
Taking The Reins
He had taught his little bundle of joy how to hold the reins and lead the horse along, and was delighted to see her doing it and following in his footsteps. She was just a little toddler, and the mustang was huge next to her, but if she could bond with the horse at this age and not feel frightened, then hopefully it meant that she would grow up feeling comfortable with the large animals.
A Seemingly Friendly Outing
Snow covered the ground, so the toddler looked adorable in her puffy pink snowsuit as she held her beloved horse’s reins. As she waddled along, her dad asked, “What’s that horse’s name?”
She tried her best but couldn’t quite articulate all of the syllables in her horse’s name, so her dad repeated it to clarify it while capturing the moment on video. “That’s Cinnamon?” he said, and Emma answered with a defiant, “Yeah”.
Walking Walking Towards Her Daddy
“Are you going to bring her up here to the house?” Justin asked, and, with that, Emma started walking. Cinnamon hesitated for a second but soon began following her lead at a slow trot. With each of her steps, the camera captured the moment.
Speeding Up In Pace
As Emma walked, she got quicker and quicker, which caused her dad to issue a warning to his tiny daughter. “Go slow so you don’t trip,” Justin advised. When she did, Emma looked back at Cinnamon and let out a happy squeal.
“You like that horse?” Her dad asked her, likely knowing what his daughter’s answer would be. “Yeah, her name’s Cinnamon,” Emma said, pronouncing her horse’s name without the second syllable. That’s when the two-year-old lost a bit of her control over the horse’s reins.
At one point in their walk, the reins slipped from Emma’s little hands and into the snowy ground beneath her. The mare behind her, Cinnamon, had the most unexpected reaction to her leader’s mistake.
Who Is In Control Now?
At this moment, he started to panic, as he understood the horse and its reaction. The slightest thing to make a horse veer of course, could make them act in a violent way, or a way that might scare his daughter.
Stop Right There
“Stop right there,” Justin advised the toddler. As she stopped, so did Cinnamon, which caused Emma to tangle the reins. Somehow, she had the horse’s pull wrapped around her tiny leg.
Tangled In The Reins
When Emma finally got herself untangled from the reins, she went to pick the long rope up from its middle. Again, her dad provided a little bit of wisdom to help his daughter lead Cinnamon safely. “Nope,” he called, “Pick them up so she doesn’t step on them.”
When her leader dropped her reins, Cinnamon could have taken off or kept walking on her own. Instead, she sweetly stood by and watched as Emma tangled herself, fumbled to scoop up the reins and finally got back onto her feet.
Untangling The Reins
Once Emma hand a handle on the reins, Justin gave her the green light to start walking again. He told his two-year-old to “stay on the road” as she continued on her way toward the family’s home.
Still Strong Bond
Their sweet trek through the snow was exemplary of the relationship between Emma and Cinnamon, her dad wrote in a Facebook post when he shared the video. “These two had and still have a special bond,” he wrote. “Cinnamon Girl LOVES her Emma.”
Video Goes Viral
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the adorable video of Emma and Cinnamon connected with so many people across the Internet. On YouTube it has raked in more than 4.8 million views, as viewers have connected to the heart warming footage.
Since then, Justin has continued to share videos of his horses on Facebook, and many of them feature Emma as she grows up alongside her extra-large pets. In a 2018 clip, she and her dad conducted a live chat with their followers about – what else – horses.
Horse And Friend
Of course, the two gave an update on Cinnamon’s relationship with Emma. “A lot of you’ve asked how Emma’s doing and how Cinnamon’s doing.” Before he could respond completely, Emma answered for him with her hands. “They’re both double thumbs up,” Her dad laughed.
Life Without Horses
In the same video, Emma tried to imagine her life without horses. The then-seven-year-old said, “I wouldn’t feel any happier. I’d be always miserable.” Then she and her dad confirmed something that viewers have known all along. “We love our horses,” Justin said.
Carrying On In Her Father’s Footsteps
Justin admitted that he can’t get her away from the horses every night and that she wants to stay in the stables with them and sleep there. But what he is most proud of….
Emma has now began jumping in competitions, and has won a surprising amount of awards and first place medals. She is a young jumper and is penned down to go far in the riding world. This makes her dad burst with pride, and she even practices on her dad’s horses. Does she still have time for her old man?
Like Father Like Daughter
They are like two peas in a pod, and have bonded tremendously over their love of horses. Emma is so grateful for her dad for introducing her to them, and for allowing her to fall in love with such loyal animals. Riding together is their favorite past time.