The Peppermint Pony
Should the client exhibit uncivil behavior before their party, whether over the phone or in writing - which would include the use of profanity, threats, insults to character etc - their deposit may be forfeited. Our parties require good communication and rapport between myself and the host and hostess - should any conversation deteriorate into rudeness prior to a deposit being made, any offer or quote will be null and void.
If we (whether it be myself, my children or anyone else in my temporary employ) are verbally assaulted, groped, or threatened while at your party, we will leave your party immediately. The police will be called and a theft of service report will be made in your jurisdiction if payment is not made in full on the spot. Threats of libel and character assassination will be treated seriously and we have an attorney willing to work Pro Bono on our behalf in these circumstances.
If we should not be able to provide a service for whatever reason, our obligation only goes so far as a returned deposit at our discretion.
We reserve the right to deny service to anyone at anytime for any reason.
Our Pony Parties are for small children. Our riding ponies have a weight limit of 65 lbs. All children over toddler age must be able to shift their weight into the middle of the saddle and maintain that position throughout the ride.
Special needs children may or may not be accommodated depending on individual situations.
Please advise in advance of any questions or concerns so that we can accommodate you appropriately
we are not a licensed therapeutic riding service. Our ponies are not trained as therapeutic riding animals and are not tolerant of certain behavior.
Ponies are large animals. They are only as safe as the people around them.
They can move quickly at times and there are no physical barriers between the animals and people at this party.
Everyone who will be in proximity to the animals at the party must be:
intellectually able to follow,
emotionally willing to follow and
physically capable of following directions, in English, in a reasonably quick fashion.
must know right from wrong and accept redirection
Any guest (adult or child) without the ability or willingness to follow directions when told the first time must be accompanied at all times by an adult who will take on the responsibility of anticipating and preventing any unacceptable, reckless, or hazardous behavior, and be capable of physically removing them from the scene without delay, if necessary.
We will leave without a refund if we feel a safe atmosphere cannot be maintained or will not be provided.
Any damages incurred to animals, equipment or staff because of lack of guest supervision will be the obligation of the host, per your contract with The Peppermint Pony.
Know your guests!
Responsible parents will know my intent is one of maintaining a safe and happy atmosphere for everyone at your party, and appreciate our sharp eyes and quick reaction times. We cannot have clients who would rather risk the possibility of a pony untied and perhaps set loose by an unsupervised guest who is incapable of and/or unwilling to follow directions (yes this has happened more than once) .
Special needs facilities MUST give us notice of this in their quote request, no exceptions or deposits will be forfeit.
The decision of the handler is final.
NOTE: NO ADULTS MAY MOUNT THE PONIES. DOING SO WILL CAUSE US TO LEAVE YOUR PARTY IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT A REFUND!!
Safety is our first priority. We reserve the right to pack up and go home in any unsafe situation, at our judgment. For the sake of the children, 99.9% of the time we elect to perservere regardless, in which case you may perceive that your experience is not what you expected.
Please understand that if we are preoccupied with managing an unsafe situation caused by the client defaulting on their contract, that our demeanor may reflect the strain of that effort but know that we are doing our best to not punish the children for the adults' lack of oversight.
Ponies are hardy, as are children. Children will rarely understand the need to cancel, and so long as the roads are passable we will not let them down. We can give pony parties in drizzle or light rain (although fragile costumes and tack may be substituted with sturdier stuff). Thunder and lightning mean we will retreat until the weather blows over (time permitting) .
Clients in areas south and east of us might keep in mind that our weather conditions, especially temperature impacting ice and snow accumulations, can vary greatly in a thirty mile band. Generally our winter booking schedule follows the jet stream - some winters, we may not book ponies at all. In any case, we will not book parties in the winter unless the hostess is willing to have us deliver alternate entertainment at our discretion, unless there is a snow emergency that makes passenger traffic dangerous. Ponies can be brought if the weather is fine. Fine does not mean 'fine' at the time of your party. It is cruel to bathe a white unicorn in 35F rain. (yes, we have had this demanded of us this year.) If you had a Unicorn party scheduled and we could not bring the ponies - we will allow you to schedule a farm visit on a morning we are prepping a Unicorn for a party and you may take photos then.
This is our main source of income - we want to work. We will NEVER reschedule your party out of convenience, as a hobbiest might. Rest assured that if safe passage is possible, we will be there.
We take our pony care very seriously, as well as our public image. The status of animals for entertainment is tenuous in this society and we certainly don't want to be a lightning rod for any malicious attentions from animals 'rights' groups who wish to take our rights to enjoy the companionship of animals from us through their lobbying efforts. In any situation, animal welfare is paramount
We now have a horse trailer with excellent ventilation, so traveling in the heat isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. However, the ponies and handlers must have the shade of trees to work in over 85F, and we will consider canceling pony services if the heat index is forecasted to be 105F or higher.
Nobody likes to cancel a pony party!
Your deposit, also called a retainer, is legally considered a "booking fee". It is not payment for a 'service'. It is payment to reserve your time on our calendar, and is non-refundable as it is necessary to cover the overhead our business generates and the income lost by being available for you and only you, on that date and time. The deposit you put down gets subtracted from your total, to give you your "balance due".
We have successfully defended our right to keep your booking fee in disputes with credit card companies.
Please read all required material, and keep all communication on the same email trail as your booking form, for best results.
Rain or shine, ponies still need to be fed and vet bills paid. Because of this we cannot schedule rain-dates or back-up dates in advance, and we cannot refund booking fees. However we do offer you the option of converting your party to our available alternate entertainment choices in case of poor weather. Local parties have the option of rescheduling their pony party for a (one) non-holiday weekday makeup date, and anyone can use their booking fee against a photo session/farm visit with our ponies and the birthday child at a local park during the week.
Full party fees will be due at the moment we begin bathing the ponies. Up until that point, you are entitled to a fee adjustment, if applicable, if you select a face painting party/glitter tattoos alternative, and/or balloons if our twister is available.
If we determine at any time within the 24 hour window before the party that weather has made it impossible or unsafe to proceed and return with the rig and ponies, we will offer the option of a face painting/glitter tattoo party if conditions allow a passenger vehicle to be safely driven to and from your party location with no chance of stranding. If a threatening forecast (i.e. hurricane track) was in place at that 24 hour mark and you elected to proceed in the face of it and the above aforementioned conditions apply, you have waived your booking fee.
It is worth noting that in our nine years of experience, canceling/rescheduling a party more than 24 hours in advance for anything less than a slam dunk hurricane track has had a 100% chance of ensuring the makeup day will be worse weather. If your party is quite grand, a large tent can accommodate all of our services.
If you choose to use your deposit as a credit for an alternate day or alternate service because of weather concerns - at that point your booking fee no longer entitles you to the original service and time. We are a business and booking fees do not pay our staff, so the moment you choose an alternative, we will be booking staff for indoor events or charities that will enable us to do business there, or going to our waiting list if better weather is certain at another client's location. At that point our commitment is to them. If you have a change of heart, of course we will do our best to accommodate your needs as we want only happy campers as clients and we want to please you as much as is practically possible.
Cancellation of weekend parties for reasons other than weather will incur full fees if cancelled closer than two weeks prior to your party and the same time slot cannot be filled by another party.
© Angela Cichetti Deppe, 2008
© Angela Cichetti Deppe, 2008