Once I was hosting a set of parents and their daughter for a campus tour as they considered Alpine Academy as a placement for her. They had visited two programs the day before and the daughter (prospective student) really did not want to make this final visit. Her mind was made up, she was tired, and she made sure we all knew it! The first hour of the tour was difficult as we shared information with the family while they tolerated and worked to manage their daughter and her negative attitude.
Later, walking around campus, we came upon two horses in a pasture and I invited the young lady to greet them, which she gladly did. After five minutes we left the horses and proceeded with the tour – she was a changed person! Smile on her face, head up, attitude gone, she was suddenly open to the information, talkative, and cooperative.
Five minutes interacting with a horse or two created an effect that neither her parents nor we, her hosts, could have. I was and am impressed (and awed at times) by the unspoken power of emotion and relationship between an animal and a person, especially a young person!