The Peppermint Pony
We have a big back yard, why can't we use it?
Unless you have acreage that allows us to drive into and circle around in your backyard:
• Parties work best when staged in the front yard, off of the horse trailer.
• It is safer for the ponies as there will be no poisonous landscaping within reach, and the ponies are tied in a familiar place. For example, the Yew is so poisonous to ponies that it only takes one bite to kill a pony (we don't want that and neither do you!)
• We require that you keep active ball and swingset away from the ponies, which is easiest if they are separated by the house. Nobody wants to be scolding kids for being kids during a party!
• To keep prices down, we need to set up and break down quickly. Our business model requires us do multiple parties per day. (Unless you are booking us for the day, i.e. Supreme parties).
• Our sound equipment is stationary in the horse trailer.
• Miss Angela needs to be in sight of the ponies while face painting, and the ponies need to be in sight of each other.
To this end, we recommend that you consider having some setups in the front - a table, some drinks and snacks, and perhaps a few chairs.
More often than not - you will fall in love with your front yard, and wonder why you don't spend more time there <3
If you are having a "Pony Ride Only" party, in some circumstances we can port brushes, mounting block etc to the back yard, if we find it:
• large enough to give rides in without children needing to cross the path of the riding pony
• appropriate footing for the riding pony
• an area where security for the rig is not a problem.
Avoid hurt feelings - read the party rules in advance. Call or write if you need clarification. We have index card-sized inserts we will be happy for you to send with your invitations - just ask us and we can mail or email them to you.
We will take a few minutes to go over the party rules at the party start. All parents, responsible adults, and participating children MUST attend.
Please direct all late-coming guest to this sign, in case we are unable to do so as services have started.
Our ponies know that birthday cake or sweets are in their contract. There will be no peace in the trailer, if they are not compensated adequately! They will be happy with leftover cake, cookies, even chips.
It makes for an icing-coated, squeals-of-delight, satisfying departure for all.
The last ten minutes of the party (not before) is carrot feeding time. We will always allow your guests to feed the miniature horses some carrots (unbroken large ones, NOT baby carrots) and some cake or sweets that you will provide. Please wait for our instructions - and inform your horse-savvy guests that we have a 'special way' of feeding carrots, to eliminate confusion
Please have your carrots, adults, and camera ready!
We will demonstrate our patented technique and then the fun will begin. We expect all guests to supervise their younger children. Please be on hand to help us as the excitement grows one last time before the party's end, with whickers and nickers as the ponies look forward to their well-earned treats.
Carrot stubs will be placed on the ground in front of the riding pony.
I have thousands of dollars invested in the very finest and safest cosmetic-safe makeup products available in the world. Because my reputation of safety and professionalism is important, and I do not want to risk my insurance, I ask that you not hire a separate face painter at your event while I am there, without my approval as a condition of our contract.
• We ask that parents or other adults at the party assist children to mount the riding pony. *GENTLY* place them on the pony's back. We appreciate your cooperation. It is very very important that the children listen to our handler's instructions and sit quietly and upright during their ride. Chiropractors are expensive!
• Our handlers will be on the left of the pony with their hand on or close to the your child. An adult may walk along on the right side for emotional support, but for the pony's well-being we ask that the child's center of gravity remain right over the center of the pony - so no leaning.
NEVER let a ride provider strap your child to a 500lb animal!
• Our riding ponies require respect. To avoid confusion with their future horsey encounters - we instruct your guests to treat the riding ponies as you would a full-size horse. This means no following, no bumping, no running around and no hand feeding. The riding pony receives his treats on the ground, typically the stubs of the carrots after mini horse feeding.
• If you are having a Unicorn party, extra care must be taken to ensure the children do not mob the Unicorn from the front and endanger themselves. This means having crowd control in place *before* our arrival, to avoid hurt feelings.
Please help us keep the under-four year olds away from the riding pony/ies, and redirect them to the mini horses for their safety.
If you are having a Unicorn party, extra care must be taken to ensure the children do not mob the Unicorn from the front and endanger themselves. This means having crowd control in place *before* our arrival, to avoid hurt feelings.
Our parties are meant to be highly interactive between parents and children and ponies.
Adults at the party need to keep the children and ponies in their line of sight, and toddlers must be within arm's reach at all times.
Pony Ride Party:
:00 Arrival, confirmation that final payment is on site*
:05 Orientation and Safety Rules, Mini horse grooming and decorating
:08 Pony rides begin
:50 Mini horse feeding orientation, then mini horse feeding. Group photo op with ponies.
1:00 We begin packing up while you sing 'Happy Birthday' and serve cake.
1:15 The ponies require a goodbye piece of cake or sweet right before they load .
We love a "plate"!
My friends in the business and I like to brag on the hospitality of our hosts and hostesses. It's a wonderful thing, that we get to work for such diverse clientele, and enjoy cuisine you just can't get in restaurants. We make feeding us (whatever you're eating is fine) part of your contract, because being able to eat on the road instead of stopping for grub allows us to give each client their desired party start time We would love to hang out and eat with you but everyone is on the clock and needs to rock and roll!
A child giving a final hug to a cherished new pony friend, and perhaps a bit of birthday cake for the hard-working and appreciative ponies and we'll be off!
Supreme Party for Twenty:
-:30 Arrival. We come early to set up and allow for time to remind of payment terms, move cars, tweak the location etc. We do not make site visits before the party date, and may ask you for photos with multiple views, sketches, and video if you wish to plan in advance. If there is time and things go smoothly and you prefer it (i.e. you have the type child who may melt down at the end of the party)- we can set up some photos for the birthday child and the family before things get started but normally we do this at the end.
:00 Orientation and Safety Rules Q & A. We anticipate that not every guest may be here, so at larger parties our floater staff can circulate with cards printed with our rules, and will brief your latecomers with a smile.
:05 Mini horse decorating, pony rides, and face painting begins. For this size crowd we generally supply two riding ponies. Only one will be a unicorn if you wish to also have balloon twisting, which is performed by the second pony walker, as the unicorn cannot be tied and left.
:30 The first round and second rounds of rides is done, and the second riding pony is tied up to graze and balloon twisting begins (lite twisting)
1:00 If all the children have tired of riding, we can tie both riding ponies and do glitter tattoos.
1:45 Ponies are unsaddled and all the children are gathered and put into two lines for the mini horse feeding.
1:55 Group photos
2:00 Party is officially over, and we break down while you do cake. We accept final payment (cash) at this time.
2:15 The ponies and mini horses are eagerly awaiting their sweet treat. Lilly prefers 'real' cake with butter based icing - not a requirement unless your Birthday child would be upset if her treat is rejected. The other ponies are vacuum cleaners, and will eat whatever it is.
All of our booking is done online. Please browse our Parties page for party and pricing info, and instructions for requesting your quote.
A Peppermint Pony Party is no ordinary pony ride party. It is a totally fantastical interactive equine experience. The party begins when the mini horse comes off the trailer - send the kids on down!
To avoid the hazards of unsupervised children, we arrive right at or at most just a few minutes before the our start time for our standard parties. Don't worry - our setup takes less than five minutes to get started - less if the riding pony arrives saddled.
We may ask you upon arrival if you have payment ready, in the correct form. Please do not take offense. A remarkable number of people do not read their contract!
We work off our trailer and the mini horses generally stay tied to the trailer. Some shade for rides and setup is a condition of your booking in the summer months.
Ponies must stay in sight of each other. We cannot just send the riding pony into the back yard.
The face painting is always set up close to the rig as well. This allows Miss Angela to keep an eye on everything and grab all those precious photos.
We ask that you have parking blocked off in advance, as it is easy to eat up fifteen minutes of your party time in the process of moving cars.
Do not count on using your driveway - we will be using the road in front of your house for parking.
Parking in a driveway factors in many more things that cannot be controlled, like
• my bumper pull hitch, which will cut into a steep driveway
• my large turning radius which needs many cars cleared next to and across from the driveway entrance to turn into and back out of, and
• the orientation.
Parallel parking can be impossible depending on the width of the street if cars are parked on both sides. Please allow plenty of space for us to pull in, and straighten out. We have a 6' door on the back of the trailer we need to open to unload.
**if your party is not on a through street, we must be able to execute a three point turn, or turn around in a circle to leave your party. We generally do not back up to exit.
Time to Decorate those Minis!!
I spend an insane amount of time, money and energy crafting THE most beautiful ribbons you'll ever see, for the girls and boys to pin onto the mane and tail of the mini horses.
Our Miniature Horses, Easter Lily and Pocohantas, are very tolerant and gentle. The kids can start grooming and decorating the mini as soon as we get her off of the trailer. We bring the brushes and the ribbon clips.
BOWS AND RIBBONS ON THE MANE AND TAIL ONLY, PLEASE!
Our ribbons and bows are beautiful but STABBY. At Pony Lover's Package parties - parents and hosts are in charge of the mini horse's welfare. Please choose a Supreme package if this makes you uncomfortable.
To keep your costs down, we do not bring extra attendants for the mini horses except for Supreme parties. Please encourage your guests to assist their children in learning party manners by helping them keep the ribbons and brushes off the ground.
All active play must be restricted to the back yard or house.
This includes play equipment, balls, swords, guns, water play, ride-in toys, noise makers, and explosives.
If you purchase Western hats, please make sure they have chin straps if the children are to ride in them.
Final terms are 'cash and carrots'.
Please have final payment ready.
Our mission is to delight and amaze you - even our most accomplished hostesses tell us "you were the perfect touch to our party, it was even better than the pictures could say".
Tipping a service provider is always acceptable and if we have achieved our mission we will gratefully accept them.
Face Painting • Balloon Twisting • Glitter Tattoos
Please help us remind the children to put brushes back in their basket, and encourage them to put the bows back in their basket. Animal interaction is a great opportunity to teach about the responsibility that animal ownership entails...a little bit of delayed gratification might make them appreciate that long after the party is over :-)
Time to go...
We have several events per day scheduled, especially on Saturdays, so as much as we love to hang out and enjoy the party when the work is done - sometimes we need to boogie to the next birthday bash!
How it Works
Pony Lover's Package Party (for Twelve):
:00 Arrival, confirmation that final payment is on site*
:05 Orientation and Safety Rules, face painting station setup
:08 Mini horse decorating begins
:10 Pony rides begin
:10-15 Face painting begins
1:20 Services end, mini horse feeding orientation, then mini horse feeding. Group photo op with ponies.
1:30 We begin packing up while you sing 'Happy Birthday' and serve cake. Please have final payment ready (cash) as we do several parties per day. Fees apply for delay in payment, $50 per 15 minutes.
1:45 The ponies are expecting a goodbye piece of cake right before they load.
*note that we expect to begin setup upon arrival. Unless otherwise discussed in advance, changes to contract (non-standard parking, parking space not reserved, portage etc) may decrease the length of time we have to provide services. Portage fees, if possible, starts at $50.
Feel free to assemble your guests for group photos! It will take us about 15 minutes to pack up and the minis are the last to go on so please feel free to take photos during this time.
The photos we take during your party may be used for promotional purposes as you see here. You are welcome to 'grab' them off of Facebook. We hope that you can assist us in spreading the word, by liking/tagging/sharing our photos of your party. By paying your booking fee, you are granting us permission to take and use photos. Please inform us before the party if there are privacy issues. We never mention the children's names, and we strip off all EXIF data from photos we post.
Full sized print quality downloads are available for $10 each
NO FUSSING ALLOWED!
Our mini horses do not kick or spook. If there is a guest at your party (usually a relative) who has had a bad experience with a horse, or who thinks they are there to instruct the children on how to act around horses in real life - please warn them in advance that we are professionals and have a proprietary system for handling our animals. This is a heady experience for a child, and not the time to instill fears. Let the children experience it for themselves, with your calm demeanor and common sense to use as a model.
Our standard party leaves plenty of time for choices, glitter and a few gems. If you are selecting one of our budget options ("lite face painting"), there will be a word board with choices. Deluxe party guests can choose from hundreds of dramatic photos. Standard parties may have a board, or themed painting, i.e. superheroes, My Little Pony.
We ask that you not have more than 3-4 children in line for the face painting, as each face will take 3-5 minutes at minimum to paint. If we get static from parents and children insisting on waiting in lines longer than this, we will get our the hand stamps, and request that you put them in groups of 5 or 6, to rotate among our 'stations' - mini horse, pony rides, face painting, etc.
We don't want children complaining that they spent the entire party waiting for one activity...and neither do you!
I have my own custom-built flower cart as a face paint station, and my own chair - so for standard parties, you do not need to supply me with setups.
Because we do so many fantasy themed parties, I specialize in wonderful butterflies and fairy masks which I coordinate to the children's clothing. I always keep your party photos in mind.
There are plenty of monster masks and flames and gruesome things for the boys as well.
Should there be unexpected rain or if you have a swim party, we can substitute glitter tattoos.
The Face Painting rules are simple:
• We cannot paint dirty, obviously ill children, or broken skin.
• Please have Moms clean their children's faces prior to entering the line.
• We do not paint children under 18 months.
• The face painter's kit is off-limits to everyone.
• We do not allow screaming and horseplay in the face painting line.
Are some kids upset? Please don't fret!
Children calm more quickly when pulled out of line to get themselves together and dry their tears.
Our face painter is an artist and needs a pleasant work environment to do her best work, so inside voices only please.
© Angela Cichetti Deppe, 2008