Ellie is four years old! (I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.)
Obviously she needed a party, and Ellie started talking about options for her big day in September. Most of the ideas involved inviting everyone in her school to a park for a picnic.
As her birthday is in February (not usually good picnic weather) and hosting 20-40 kids (not to mention the parents) is daunting at best, Jeff and I were planning on keeping Ellie’s birthday party pretty small and simple. So we were both a little surprised that we found ourselves considering a pony party.
I don’t even remember how I got this idea in my head, but once it was there, it took root and would not budge. We were concerned that it may be too extravagant and didn’t want to set expectations that every birthday would involve lavish parties. But really, it was perfect, and we knew Ellie would love it. I did some research and was excited to find Seattle Pony Party.
On the day of the party, they invited Ellie to come early and help brush the ponies to get them ready for their saddles.
We loved that Ellie got to spend some time with the horses beforehand. Ellie tends to need time acclimating to new situations, so this was a great way to get to know the horses and give them some special attention.
Originally, we were supposed to have two ponies, but the ponies were “in a mood” that day, so only Applesauce came to our party. She was joined by two horses, Willy and Kriya.
Pretty soon our guests started to arrive: Logan, Ainsley, cousin Emma, and parents; and Ellie’s grandparents Larry, Janet, and Patty. After donning helmets, the kids were ready to ride.
Since we had three horses (okay, one pony and two horses) and four kids, each kid only had to take a small break before getting another chance to ride.
To make things a bit more interesting, a few obstacles where placed in the arena for the kids/horses to maneuver around: cones, jumps, etc. Ellie also got to trot at one point, which resulted in these big smiles.
The kiddos rode for a little over an hour. And then, yes, we made them pose. This is Willy and he had some difficulty standing still for the photo.
By then the horses needed some nourishment and acknowledgement of a job well done, so the kiddos fed them a copious amount of carrots.
Then it was time for cupcakes!
Ellie got quite a few horse-themed presents, including several toy horses.
As it was such an unusually beautiful and warm day, the folks at the stable decided it was a good time to give Willy a bath. After cake and presents, they invited anyone who wanted to help to come over and get soapy. Ellie and Emma were the most enthusiastic washers.
Ainsley took the opportunity to visit some of the other horses that live at the stable.
I was thrilled that the kids got a glimpse into the care and feeding of the horses and were able to help in some small way.
Most importantly, the party was just a big success and everyone had a good time.