On a warm and sunny September day last fall, we woke up bright and early. There was a BIG mission for our day – to throw the best pony party ever, ending in a super special surprise for our little equestrian birthday girl. We told Lily at the end of the day that there was no way we would ever be topping this party – so it needed to last her a lifetime. 🙂
The setting for our pony party is one of those places that you find by word-of-mouth and refuse to ever leave. Everything Little Farm (ELF) is located in Bucks County, PA (just a smidge above Doylestown). Run by a mother-daughter team, this farm is idyllic in many ways. We are horse people, and we know quality horse people when we see them. Whether I’m taking Lily to riding lessons, pony club or dropping her off at summer camp, ELF is a nurturing, learning environment that teaches kids through age-appropriate instruction. Ponies are a lot of work and responsibility and Lily has learned that from her first day at ELF. I would never let Lily ride somewhere that tacks her pony up and is ready for riding upon her arrival; I want to see her brushing that pony, finding the right saddle in the tack room and leading her pony into the ring to be ridden. ELF offers all of those things and more – so it was the perfect location for our pony party.
We had an array of snacks and drinks for party guests. We used our diy mason jar straw toppers to offer pink lemonade on ice. These were so popular, we ran out less than halfway through the party! I set out a mason jar with pink and brown paper straws from Etsy seller Glitter Daisy Shop.
We served the kids and adults plenty of pizza – delivered from a local restaurant. Snacks (pretzels, tortilla chips and Pringles were served in galvanized steel buckets while dips and salsa were served in mason jars. I made pony party ranch dip cups and served them with cups of carrot sticks. They were a huge hit and we treated the ponies to the leftover carrots.
Of course, the crowning gem of our food spread was the cake and cupcakes made by the incomparable Truly Custom Cakery (Warminster, PA). TCC made a cake for the top of the cupcake tower – pink and brown fondant with a horse on the top and a rosette flowing off the side depicting the number four. Delicious pink and brown cupcakes dotted the levels below and many of them were topped with personalized cupcake toppers from Etsy seller Where the Green Grass Grows (she made our personalized birthday bunting as well).
Our little cowpokes had ALL SORTS of things to keep them occupied throughout the party. They started out together with some basic horse grooming instruction and overall horsemanship pointers. After grooming the ponies it was time to walk their obstacle course on foot before attempting it on the back of a pony.
While some kids rode (and waited for their turn to ride), others completed a craft (coloring a horse-themed backpack) which was then”autographed” by one of the ponies with a hoof print. By the end of the party every child had a turn to ride and to personalize a bag.
After lunch everyone had the chance to “shop” at the General Store and then they took turns trying to crack open the pony pinata.
We had several favors on hand for our party guests. Each child got a homemade wooden stick horse – that Bob displayed using a set of jump standards and PVC pipe with holes drilled in it. This not only looked cute, but gave the kids a spot to keep their horses during the various party activities.
Kids also received a cowboy hat that I bought from US Toy (which many of them wore during the party) and a Blue Ribbon Cookie Jar. Each jar was topped with a personalized blue ribbon that I ordered from Hodges Badge Company.
Note: The story that follows is neither a tip nor an idea for a pony party. It’s simply the end to our pony party adventure and I wanted to share.
So as with every party, ours was drawing to a close. We somehow lucked out with the perfect weather and I had a smile on my face the entire day that was impossible to wipe off.
We had one more little surprise up our sleeves for the birthday girl. It was a surprise that was no small task in pulling off – it took months of searching, hiding and little white lies. You know by now that we are horse people. We have horses and I grew up riding them. Lily had been riding and showing for a year at the time of her party – her love for ponies and dedication to the sport were very evident from the start. Our horses are too gigantic for her to ride safely, so the search for a gentle pony has been in the works for awhile.
To end her party, we sent Lily on a picture scavenger hunt around the farm. While she looked for her final clue, Bob got her new pony, Pretzel, out of her hiding spot and stood waiting for Lily to find her. It was precious and a moment I will never forget. Lily and Pretzel are now best buds – when the weather is nice Pretzel gets after-school visits and Lily loves to make special trips to the barn with carrots or apples. I am excited to see them grow together and learn from each other in the years to come. <3