Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Friday, July 01, 2005

Party at SPR

I gotta hand it to Ginger - she seems to know what people want when it comes to horse-related service offerings. It has been part of our plan to offer birthday parties and allow people to bring their party to our place, providing their own refreshments, and then spend some time pony riding. Visions of a dozen 7 year olds danced in our heads.

So - though we hadn't yet advertised this service anywhere, someone contacted Ginger a week or so ago looking for essentially this exact thing. Seems he and his wife invite their grandkids out to stay with them for several days every summer at "Grandpa's Camp". This year they had 10 grandkids coming, aged 5 to 14, and they were interested in trying some riding.

We had to scramble a little bit - finishing the mowing around where we thought we'd set up the picnic table on the hill above the arena. And oh yeah - needed to buy a picnic table!

I was a bit delayed coming home and so they were in full picnic mode by the time I drove up. All of the kids had matching T-shirts on that they'd decorated by drawing on them. Very campish. Grandpa and Grandma were cheerful and friendly, clearly enjoying sheparding the kids around. Ginger brought Shoshoni around to be petted, then saddled up Shadow and Harley.

While we don't put novice riders on Shadow alone, he does very good with kids if he is being led. And on the ground he is one of our most approachable horses since he really does like the attention. Good old Harley is the champion of followers, so regardless of where Ginger took Shadow - walking or trotting - he just follows along behind unattended.

Actually, at one point I was amazed to watch as she brought them both back in to switch riders, and the one on Harley, who was one of the younger ones, was just wailing on Harley with his legs and flipping the reins around. I guess it was good his legs hardly reached the bottom of the saddle and thus realistically resulted in minimal wailing -- but still I was amazed and greatful to see Harley just absolutely ignoring him.

Everyone got a short turn on each horse and then they were loaded up into their cars again. I caught Grandpa as he was getting in - he said they were all so excited and had a great time. I do forget what it's like for people who don't have access to horses just what an impression they can make in a short while. It felt great to be able to provide them that chance. Then he grinned and said - just three more days of camp before he could send them all home!



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