We were a bit stuck on what sort of event to have for our daughter’s birthday this year. Then we struck upon something outdoors based on her love of horses and horse riding. A Horse Party, or Pony Party, seemed to fit the bill.
Our daughter absolutely loves horses. She doesn’t have a horse of her own, but often goes horse riding outdoors in a field on a friend’s horse. This is ideal as it means we don’t have the expense of owning a horse, and our friend has an enthusiastic girl to groom and tack the horse for her.
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We searched for stables and riding schools that run pony parties, and came up with a few that were suitable. Some of the riding schools had pony parties that were forty minutes of just riding around an indoor arena. We didn’t think would appeal, as you just turn up, get on the horse, ride round in a circle for a while and then leave. It is ok if you want to just try out horse riding if you have never done it before.
We wanted to have a horse riding party that was outdoors. After looking at several riding schools, we chose Honnington Riding School, which is based near Tonbridge in Kent. The riding school has an outdoor arena which is sand based where you can exercise the horses and practice horse riding. There are several large fields where horses are kept during the day. We got the impression that the staff looked after the horses well, and that it was a great environment in which young people could see how to look after horses.
The pony party they set up involved half an hour of tuition on how to groom and tack a horse, followed by half an hour of pony trekking outdoors through adjoining woods. You then have the use of the barn where the horses are stabled for an hour to hold a party (as long as you keep the noise down).
The girls were all very excited about going horse riding. Some of them had been horse riding before, but not all of them had. This was not a problem as those who had not ridden a horse were led by one of the stable girls. Everyone had a fantastic afternoon. The girls all got involved in grooming the horses, and were shown which brush to use and how to brush the horses. They were then shown the right way to tack a horse. After the horses had their saddles and bridles put on, the girls were allocated a horse each. Then they were off.
The trek through the woods was great. It was nice to be able to go out on a horse into the countryside. Those who had never ridden a horse before thoroughly enjoyed it. Those who could already ride a horse enjoyed the ride as well.
If you want to go further on a horse, there are plenty of places in England, Scotland and Wales to go pony trekking. The New Forest has a good choice of riding stables to choose from and we have been on some before. With a longer trek, you can get up to a trot or even a canter, depending on the terrain, your skill on a horse, and also how confident the riding instructor is in your abilities to control the horse.
We found some great horse themed party supplies at Partyrama Horse party supplies
So, if you are wondering what to do for your birthday, have a go at horse riding and have a pony party.
For a longer horse riding experience, why not try one of these Horse riding holidays