It was SO fun to hear the girls giggling and carrying on, and fantastic to see them communing with Maddie. (Lady kept herself clear. She's not used to urchins crawling around in her pasture.) Maddie is really social and, when we hike, typically hangs out QUITE close to us during our snack breaks. We suspect this has something to do with the last owner who informed us that the horse liked French fries and peppermint candies.
To picnic with a horse, however, there are some important safety tips. First of all, the horse must be VERY mellow. Maddie's a follower who we've worked with a lot. We've played with all sorts of odd things around her, as had her previous owner, and we've taken her packing which provided an entirely different desensitization opportunity.
Don't start giving her treats mid-picnic. Once you've given her a treat, she's going to horn in on the picnic blanket, the basket even the teapot. Have her stand aside, give her loves, scratch her nose, but make her wait for treats every time. She'll graze nearby if she's really hungry.
And have fun!