Pony Rides for Parties and Festivals
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A Pony To Go
Planning for ponies at your party...
A bit of preparation will make everything go more smoothly. Here are some of the things you can expect, and suggestions for how to have everything ready.
Before the ponies arrive
Balloons on your mailbox and on any difficult corners leading into your street will make it easier for us (and everyone else) to find your house. We will need space to park a full-sized pickup truck with a long horse trailer attached. Tell us if you anticipate a problem; we've successfully parked in some very unusual places.
No loose dogs are allowed, regardless of their size or training. The ponies do not fear dogs, but dogs get in the way, and take up attention that is needed to watch children and ponies. Cats are not a problem. Dogs can be tied, crated or put away. Service dogs are okay.
Loud music makes it difficult for us to hear the children, and it annoys the ponies. Background music with “kiddy music” is fine, but earthquake-style music is not. Use your own wisdom in selecting appropriate additional entertainment.
Toys and junk must be removed. Broken glass, tin cans or (especially) pieces of wire and branches need to be cleared away. Balls, such as basketballs, footballs and soccer balls, should be put away so that children do not start a ball game and inadvertently roll or toss a ball among the ponies.
Once the ponies are there
For most parties, the ponies will get there ahead of the guests. We will look at your yard and together we will agree on the best place for the pony rides. Even very small areas will work, but we have to be on the lookout for hazards, such as:
- Steep slopes. The ponies can climb up and down a slope, but they’ll want to run going up, and younger children may feel insecure as the pony walks downhill.
- Holes in the ground. We don’t want a pony to step into a gopher hole where he might break a leg. Areas where trees were cut years before can have invisible holes where the trees used to be and the stumps have rotted out.
- Overhead lines. Clotheslines, dog lines, ropes or “zip-line” athletic devices can catch the hats or necks of riders sitting tall on their horses. Watch out for tree limbs, too.
As the ponies are working
Common sense is expected. No one should ever stand behind any horse, or run near horses. Slapping a horse, or trying to get it to “do something” is always a bad idea.
The children should be wearing closed-toed shoes instead of sandals or flip-flops. Proper shoes protect the feet, and are less likely to fall off, distracting the child from riding. Parents who will be walking beside a pony should consider wearing closed-toed shoes as well.
The children should be on good behavior. That means no ball games, no running, and no playing follow-the-pony. Also, feeding the ponies is not permitted.
The parents should be watching their children. We cannot “baby-sit” the children for you or watch for other problems at your party. We are paying attention to the ponies and the riders.
Please follow our directions regarding pony safety. If we speak sharply to you or to a child, it is because a difficult situation needs immediate correction. In particular, be aware of unattended toddlers who approach the ponies or who wander into their paths.
Petting the pony is perfectly okay, as long as the pony is stopped and does not have a rider. Pet the pony’s neck or shoulder, not the face, ears or nose.
When the ponies are done
We like to leave when it’s time for cake, ice cream and presents. (If you intend to stop the pony rides while you do birthday cake, remember that the ponies’ clock keeps running, and it will suddenly be time for them to leave.) Don’t forget to pay us and to ask for some of our business cards.