Whether you live close-in to the city or steps away from farmland, one thing is for sure: kids are drawn to horses like bees to honey. Luckily, we’ve found some friendly folks that make it easy to get young riders in the saddle, whether you’re looking for beginner lessons, ponies for a party or an introduction to horse care. Read on to find out how to get your buckaroos their pony fix.

photo: James Brooks via flickr

Wish Upon a Pony
Is your birthday boy or girl asking for a pony party? If you can’t bring the crew to the farm, consider bringing a pony (or two!) to the party. Wish Upon a Pony has been bringing their ponies to residents’ homes for years and can provide pony rides on a lawn, sidewalk, cul-de-sac, driveway, parking lot or garage. The ponies are treated humanely and are rewarded for their work; these are well-loved animals who are part of the family, so you can rest assured that they are happy horses. Cherokee, Buster, Squeekers and Bimini receive high-quality food, acres of green grass to graze on, regular vet check-ups and frequent baths.

Cost: $150/hour for one pony, $50/hour each additional pony
email: portlandponyrides@gmail.com
Online: wishuponapony.com

Country Girl Farms
This fully-enclosed facility offers year-round opportunities for kids as young as 3 years old. Young learners will be knowledgeable in caring for, understanding and communicating with the horses in group or private lessons that use Natural Horsemanship Methods. Birthday parties include pony time (riding and petting ponies), horseshoe painting, goody bags filled with treats for the horses, time in the Club House and place settings in either hot pink or lime green.

17531 S. Henrici Rd.
Oregon City
Online: facebook.com/country-girl-farms

photo: mllu92 via flickr

Once Upon a Horse
Once Upon a Horse is a great first stop for brand-new riders or those looking for an introductory experience. Safety on the ground and on the horse is the main focus, and options include private lessons, semi-private lessons, birthday parties, Mommy & Me lessons and field trips (great for scouts or other small clubs). Ages two through 10 is the typical age range of riders and sessions during Spring Break and Summer Vacation are also offered.

Cost: $90/hour for private lessons (visit website for more pricing)
Trillium Creek Training and Rehabilitation Coalition
Lake Oswego
Online: onceuponahorse.com

Quarry Ridge Farm
Quarry Ridge packages pony parties perfectly. In a one- to two-hour party at the farm, up to 15 guests can practice grooming and riding a pony, complete a craft and have time for cake and gifts. Parents are encouraged the personalize the party room with decorations and provide the cake and other refreshments. The farm suggests 2-3 weeks advance planning to book your party.

Cost: $175-$350 for a party for 15
25604 NE Manley Rd.
Battle Ground, Wa
Online: quarryridgefarm.com

photo: Slds1 via flickr

Stafford Hills Equitation 
Those who are ready for a more serious endeavor should consider Stafford Hills Equitation. Wednesday morning group lessons are provided in English tack style, although bareback and Western styles are also available. The one-hour lessons usually consist of a group of 2-4, and riders will learn to groom, tack and lead a horse. These lessons are available for ages 8 and older, and make sure to check out the vaulting program, in which riders perform dance and gymnastics moves on the back of a moving horse!

Cost: $50/1 hour lesson
715 Rosemont Rd.
West Linn
Online at staffordhills.org

Lake Oswego Hunt Riding Academy
For more than 70 years, LOH has been offering instruction to children and adults. Riders begin with ground manners, horse care and riding lessons, and experienced riders can make their way up to equestrian competitions. A large and well-maintained barn is accompanied by an indoor arena, outdoor arena and several riding fields. The Horse and Hound Clubroom offers a place on-site to hang out after a lesson for a cool drink with friends.

2725 SW Iron Mountain Blvd.
Lake Oswego
Online: lakeoswegohunt.com

Happy Horse of Course
Riders of all experience levels are welcome at this North Plains farm where Natural Horsemanship is a priority (the philosophy of working with horses by appealing to their instincts). From the basics of groundwork and trail rides to the fundamentals of dressage and jumping, lessons are tailored to each individual’s needs. Birthday parties and special events are also available, so contact owner Julia M. Mattson to discuss needs.

Cost: Indvidual lessons begin at $40 (see website for pricing details)
Rusty Spurr Ranch
24255 NW Dairy Creek Rd.
North Plains
Online: happyhorseofcourse.com

Do you have a horse enthusiast at your house?  Let us know in the Comments below!

—Marianne Walters

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