Many people like or even love animals, but there are those chosen few whose admiration for and understanding of a particular type of creature goes beyond passing familiarity and becomes a deep understanding.
Whether this is a product of nature, nurture, or both, it is pretty clear that the more time you spend around animals, the better you start to understand them.
Lilly Rae is a 5-year-old from Texas who seems to have a penchant for communicating with horses. Some have referred to her as a “horse whisperer,” and a glance at some of the photos will explain why.
From a very, very young age, Lilly Rae had the unique opportunity to be around horses. Not only has she grown up with the romanticized animals, working with the noble creatures is in her blood.
That’s because her mother also grew up with horses. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a mom who’s a horse trainer, but Lilly Rae’s mom, Samantha Victoria Buncher, is. Buncher runs Sky High Equestrian Center in Tomball, Texas.
“Samantha’s love of horses and riding began when she was less than seven years old at a small English barn in Virginia,” the “About” page on her website reads. “As she grew in skill and expertise, her ability to understand and communicate with horses became apparent.”
“By 14, she found a trainer who was able to explain horse nature in a way that motivated Samantha to strive for excellence in riding more than ever before. This experience continues to affect her approach with students, guiding her to tailor her instruction to the needs, abilities, and commitment level of her students.”
“During high school, Samantha spent one year at Willow Hill, an eventing farm in Upstate New York, under the tutelage of Rolex Rider and Trainer Tara Edwards and Grand Prix Rider and Trainer Julie Edwards, and two seasons in Wellington showing and catch riding.”
“These experiences inspired Samantha to become a professional horsewoman in order to gain the ability and expertise to help students and their horses reach their potential in the ring.”
She’s become a specialized broker, finding the perfect matches between horses and people. If all little girls had mothers that connected, far more pony requests would become reality.
By age 4, Lilly Rae was already cantering and jumping, guiding her pony with a practiced ease. “Evening ride with my Girl and Muffin Top!” her mom posted on the center’s Facebook page July 2018. “As we practice our cantering transitions and cantering over polls she totally surprises me with an awesome inside turn with a perfect little distance and two point!”
“Watch out pony world here comes Lilly Rae ???? Lilly Rae Muffin Top … To be 4 again!!?”
But the 5-year-old has gone viral because of the way she interacts with the horses, illustrating how much she cares for them and how much they adore her back. Her mother originally posted the video on Facebook before it was picked up by a news station.
“Late night Mac snuggles AT SKY HIGH EQUESTRIAN CENTER ❤️” she wrote on her Facebook page on Jan. 16. “Can’t believe this boy is still here! Take this super sweet Irish boy home!”
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