We have been back and forth on this issue. Do we make our horses available for parties. – Well yes and no.
I missed an email from someone who wanted us to do a party and I felt very bad for that, they went with another organisation and I know they will be very happy with that organisation. However, it brings up the question; will we do children’s parties.
Our horses are horses. They are extremely well trained, we know them extremely well. We have loaded one on the trailer, to take him back off, because that day, just wasn’t his day. Last night was going to be a quick grooming and stall clean before feeding. Less than two minutes into standing in cross ties, we had a lunge line hooked on and were out “water skiing” in the mud. Our horses sometimes need to be horses and we are ok with that. Their needs are above and beyond anything else. However we also expect them to adhere to their training when we are out, which sometimes requires a little extra work at the barn.
I have extensively researched companies that do parties, asked questions and had our own experiences out with the public. It makes me hesitant. We know that three hours is about the length of time our horses can handle being with the public. We know in those three hours, they need a couple 10-15 minute breaks. Red for example will not go to the bathroom with people watching. This comes from her training long before us, where she was a lead horse in a six-horse miniature horse hitch team. At one event she ate 2lbs of carrots – she needed a couple breaks! Horses by nature are grazing animals, so while there might be plenty of grass, and they will graze, we want and they want to go visit that trusty hay bag we travel with and have a drink of water. At times, this has been met with disdain from members of the public. Our responsibility is to these horses, we take their care very seriously. If you have ever mucked a miniature horse’s stall, you know they have the metabolism of bunnies! They need their breaks and so do our volunteers.
So parties, yes we will do them. However we require at least 3 weeks notice to ensure we have available staff. I will come and meet with you, view your property or the local where you are having the party. There will be a contract and forms to sign – lots of forms. We are fully insured and insurance for this type of program is not cheap, nor is it easy to obtain. We require waivers signed by the parents of all children in attendance. We will gladly photograph the day for you, we are not professionals by any stretch of the imagination, but we are not horrible either. A photo/image release waiver must be signed by each parent of each child attending. This protects you and us. We will provide you by e-mail or on a USB with the images for the party. The children can interact with the horses, groom them, lead them, hug them, play with them. We will do a brief introduction and education presentation with the horses, the horse will even do some tricks! We will arrive with a folding canopy with gates for the horses and a birthday gift for the boy or girl!
We also have a cart for carriage rides!
One Horse: $150/hr, 2 hour minimum, includes 1/2 hour travel time
One Horse and Cart: $175/hr, 2 hour minimum, excludes tack-up time (approx. 10 minutes) and includes 1/2 hour travel time
2 Horses: $200/hr, includes 1/2 hour travel time
We can coordinate mane rolling and tails to reflect your theme! We have unicorn horns, bridle plumes and other costumes.
We want your experience to be positive!