These days, planning a kid’s birthday party is somewhat akin to planning a wedding: secure venue; decide theme; create guest list; book caterer. (Okay, maybe not that last one). If you have multiple kids like I do, you’ve likely exhausted your creative juices and are ready to throw in the towel.
It’s time to venture outside the box: Think… Ponies!
Itty-Bitty Pony Parties, owned and operated by Pam and Luke Bawden of Prescott, offers hand-led pony rides with fun add-on packages to personalize the experience, guaranteeing an all-around good time for kids and parents alike. And, the ponies come to you!
It all began in 2007, when one miniature pony named Trinket started greeting tourists on Historic Route 66 just north of her owner’s ranch.
“Many of these tourists had never seen a horse, let alone such a tiny and personable one that wore costumes and gave smiles to everyone she met,” shared Pam. “Trinket was our first miniature horse and she kick-started a pony party business that continues to produce smiles wherever the ponies travel.”
Party packages are designed to fit a variety of budgets, with basic ride packages starting at $150/hr. for one pony, and $75/hr. for each additional pony. The company’s website provides photos and short bios to help guests choose the perfect pony for their special day.
Guests can also choose from the following party add-ons:
- Vet Check ($30): weigh and measure your pony, listen to its heart and lungs -great for the budding veterinarian!
- Princess / Power Pony ($30): guests choose from a variety of princess or superhero costumes to dress up themselves and their pony
- Painted Pony ($45): use parade-style paints to create a work of art on your pony (a favorite party choice)
- Itty-Bitty Pony Necklace ($10): featuring the pony that helped make your child’s day special
Of the 10 miniature ponies that Pam and her family now care for, seven are currently available for parties, including Trinket, who Pam credits as the real founder of the business.
“The truth is that our ponies are the real stars of the show – we are merely their assistants,” said Pam. “We love to share our ponies with kids and the parents that love those kids enough to make their lil dreams come true.”
Coming up this summer: Pony for a Day Camps!
Children ages 5-10 will learn to help care for, groom, saddle, lead and play some fun in-saddle games as well as enjoy craft/snack time at the ranch!
Written by: Jodi Hale
Jodi Hale is an editorial/advertising assistant for North Phoenix Family Magazine as well as a freelance writer. The mother of three amazing boys ages 7, 13 and 15, she has served on the PTA board of their school for more than 7 years, collaborating with teachers, staff and community members to enrich the learning environment for all students through positive and engaging educational experiences. Jodi also volunteers as a public relations specialist for Musical Theatre of Anthem, promoting the theater’s year-round training opportunities and award-winning productions. She loves reading, free-hand drawing, creating props, and raising her boys to embrace life with purpose.