Here are some commonly asked questions! Please feel free to add to this list!
Why "Pony" Parties? We now offer both a full sized horse and/or a PONY! A real PONY is 14.2 hands (4ft 7inces, 14.2 hands X 4inces). Vinnie is 15.3 hands high, or 5foot 1inch. George our pony is about 10 hands high. Now that we found a pony that suites our needs, we are proud to truly be a PONY PARTY BUSINESS! Also, a side note: Ponies are NOT baby horses. They are a separate breed of animal.
Why have a Pony Party? What kid doesn't want a pony? It's a classic question children have been asking for hundreds of years: "Can I have a pony?". Horses (and ponies) bring out a smile on a child's face that you seem only once in a lifetime. There is something about the way horses make children feel that makes your heart melt. Not everyone is exposed to farm life, but there is nothing like it! This gives you a chance to bring the farm to any event your having!
Are you insured? YES! Insurance was one of the first items on my list to get once I started this business. It not only protects you and your family and friends, but it protects me and my horses! Animals act unpredictably and even the calmest horse can be dangerous. I have not had to, and hope to NEVER, use my insurance, but it is there, just in case!!!
Do we have to wear a helmet to ride? Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet. It is just in case, but it is one rule I stand by! Adults can make a choice to wear or not wear a helmet.
What kind of helmets do you use? They are International Schooling Helmets. They are one of the most popular brands of riding helmets. They are ASTM and SEI certified.
What does ASTM and SEI mean? The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is an organization comprised of thousands of skilled volunteers including doctors, engineers and physicists. It is the job of the ASTM to set standards for many types of safety equipment. The ASTM has created criteria for horseback riding helmets to adhere to. The SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) is an independent laboratory that tests helmets to be sure they meet the ASTM standard.
Why don't you require riders to wear proper shoes? I could enforce a proper attire rule and not let everyone ride if they are not dressed correctly. I really could. But, the problem lies in the fact that some parents will forget, or never get the message, or whatever. How do you tell a child that they cannot ride the horse because they didn't dress right? We make sure that little toes stay away from our horses' feet. We watch everyone and make sure that no one is in harm's way. In a perfect world, everyone would wear the right clothes, the right shoes, and I would be President!
Can we come to your farm? Well, no. I would love to invite you, but right now TRUE VENTURE FARM is only the name of my business. One day, I will put that name on the sign outside my own barn and everyone will be invited, but for now it is just a dream in my head!
Does Vinnie/George bite? Yes. He's an animal, he bites his food and he bites at itches. But, he does not bite people (unless you are me, he likes to play bite me). The only time you even stand the smallest chance of getting bitten is if you give him a treat. When giving our animals food; just make sure to keep hands and fingers flat. He cannot see what he is grabbing and it is best to keep fingers out of reach.
What do horses eat? They eat hay and grass on a regular grazing basis, which means they are continuously eating. They receive grain (oats, barley, molasses) every morning and afternoon along with any daily medication mixed in. They also eat carrots, apples, and treats. These are the most common food items they eat, though I have known a few horses that eat things like; cookies, ham sandwiches, beer, soda, peppermints, chips, etc...
Can we give the animals treats? Sure, we bring treats with us at all times!
Are there any weight limits? Vinnie is very strong, he can carry up to 300lbs easily but to help keep our parties safe, I prefer to set the limit around 250lbs.
What are the age limitations? We will let ages 1 to age 101 ride!
Why do you choose not to have side walkers? It makes it easier for me (as the walker) to have less distractions as possible. The children can concentrate on just me and the horse and if a child's mind wanders I can get them back on track. If a child does request someone to come with them, that is fine. I know some smaller children would feel more comfortable having a parent or family friend walk beside them rather than someone from my team. I have had children as young as 2 ride all by themselves. See also why I use an English Saddle for more information. Also, if a child is under two they may ride with an adult.
What months are "Pony" Parties available? My husband and I (as well as Vinnie) are available all year round weather permitting. In the winter the only two problems would be if there was a heavy snow storm and the streets are not cleared, or it is under 30 degrees. This is just too cold to enjoy the party. The fall and spring are perfect as long as it is not too rainy out. A drizzle is fine and if the weather is going to clear up we can move the party around a little bit. The summer is great for parties and the only hindrance may be if it is above 100 degrees. This makes it uncomfortable for the horse, us, and the children!
What kind of saddle do you use? I use an English Saddle for a few reasons. First, it is a lot easier to shorten the stirrups so that every child or adult can fit their feet in them. This helps make the rider feel more secure and gives us the opportunity to omit a side walker. Second, it is lighter on the horse than a traditional Western Saddle. This makes Vinnie more comfortable and more willing to perform. Third, if I need to get a rider off of the horse quickly for whatever reason, I can do so safely. A western saddle has the high back and horn in the front. This makes it difficult to pull someone off. In case of emergency, I am trained to remove the rider from the horse and also steer the horse away from both the rider and myself. And finally, it gives more freedom in the size of the rider. Most western saddles are either too big or too small for everyone. English Saddles are much easier to "fit" into.