Ponyland Pony Parties, Inc. is Cleveland & Northeast Ohio's Premier Pony Party Company - Pony Rides & Petting Zoo for Children's Parties

Ponyland Pony Parties, Inc. is Cleveland & Northeast Ohio's Premier Pony Party Company - Pony Rides & Petting Zoo for Children's Parties

Northeast Ohio's Premier Pony Party Company

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Tribute to the Best

Tribute to the Best.
Staff Writer, Beth West
August 1, 2018

As pet owners, we take our responsibility to the animals very seriously.

Sometimes we get to make easy decisions such as which halter looks the prettiest, or what color ribbons look best in their tail.

Sometimes we have to make really hard decisions. Decisions about their health, well-being and what is best for the animal. Today was one of those days.

Today we made the selfless decision to say goodbye to Belle. She was at least 25 years old. As she was retired, her ears and appetite told us she was happy, yet her aging body told us a much different story. Belle had been battling several health issues for a couple years, all of which were managed by medications. However, there comes a point when the medications aren’t working as well and our equine friend was hurting. It was in that moment we made the decision to humanely euthanize her and stop her pain.

Now we want to focus on her life:

Belle was one of the first ponies we started Ponyland with. She has been part of our family since 2006. We bought her from well-known horsemen, Bob Barnard. A cute little Shetland that resembled Brian’s childhood pony.

She instantly became best buds with Bear, another pony we had recently bought. They did everything together. We eventually called them “husband and wife” because they were inseparable.

Belle went on to be the poster pony for Ponyland. She could do anything, any party at any venue. She went on to become one of our nursing home ponies, visiting the elderly as a reindeer for Christmas or just walking through the halls of a facility to bring a little joy.

We estimate that over her career, Belle participated in 1, 152 parties, giving in area of 15,000 pony rides. Belle LOVED doing pony parties. She loved getting all prettied up, being ridden and loved upon by children. Belle HATED her ears touched! (Every good woman has one flaw).

Belle will never be replaced. She truly was one of a kind. We are devastated but know we did what was in her best interest.
Her “husband” Bear passed away last year and she is now running free of pain, with him in Heaven. Yes, I believe animals have a place in Heaven, why else would God have created them?

Belle, thank you for choosing us as your family. Thank you for 12 years of your antics, your dedication and your soft muzzle nudges. You will be terribly missed.

                                          belle without saddle              Belle2                                                                                   





Hard Decisions

There are many ways to describe today in Ponyland.  Sad, tough, downhearted and mournful are just to name a few.  Today we did what was in the best interest of one of our animals, we helped them  cross over the rainbow bridge.  This is never an easy decision or taken lightly.  We value each and every animal that we own and their needs are our primary concern.  
Today, with the veternarian's help, we allowed Midnight to cross over that bridge.  Midnight was approximately 25 years old, and the best wheel pony we have ever owned.  Chances are, if you saw Ponyland at a festival with the wheel, Midnight was on it.  She always wore purple and had her purple saddle to match.  It was a color that looked great on her and it drew hundreds of little girls to choose her every year.
Midnight was a small shetland pony who came to live at Ponyland back in 2010 and then she gave us an unexpected gift later that year by giving birth to her son, Spirit.  (see last months blog)  Over the last two years as she aged, she went into semi-retirement and only used a handful of times as she began to suffer from numerous health issues.  We met with veternarians at Cleveland Equine and came up with a plan to help her and put her on the road to recovery.  But, over this last year, it became apparent that the medication was not enough and we began to look at other ways to manage her symptoms.  She again was put on a managed plan and with the help of a great Blacksmith and her veternarians we thought we had her comfortable.  However, this last week she took a turn for the worse and really did let us know that she was hurting and ready.
As a responsible owner, one of the toughest decisions we will ever make is when to end an animals life humanely.  Usually they let us know when it's time and it's our job to be in tune with our animals to be able to do so.
It was no easy decision with Midnight.  She was always happy, nickering to her friends and happy to be outside.  She was a tough girl who didn't show she was hurting unless it was really necessary.  
As I held her this morning, I talked to her about her life, the children she gave smiles too and what a good pony she was.  That I would protect her till the end and continued to let her hear my soothing voice as she crossed over the rainbow bridge. 
She will be sadly missed.  After she passed, I allowed her best buddy, Coco to visit with her hoping he understood what had transpired.  I am pretty sure he did.  He sniffed her, and then sat with his head hanging over her for several minutes.  He knew his buddy was gone.  No matter what anyone says, I am convinced animals feel saddness too.  As you will see by the picture, Coco was feeling just that.
Midnight is surived by her son, Spirit, her significant other, Coco and many adopted herd mates.  RIP Midnight, you will be missed.
**Picture has been cropped for Midnight's privacy***
Coco and Midnight

A Birthday Story

Everyone loves a good birthday story, right?  Today I am going to bring you the birthday story of Spirit (named after the movie, Spirit Champion of the Cimerron).

Spirit's mom, Midnight was a pony we acquired earlier in 2010 for pony rides.  At the time, we knew there was a chance that she may be bred, but she never really looked in foal and the vet had no success determining it either.  At the beginning of August, 2010 Midnight finally began to show and went from a cute, round pony to a huge, buldging belly that she could hardly carry around.  She went instantly on maternity leave and we waited (and waited.. and waited...) for the impending arrival.

After a few more vet visits, we knew we had a few weeks until the baby would make an appearance, but still there was an excitement in the air. About the 3rd week of August we were getting signs she was close.  All that did was make sure no one at Ponyland got any sleep and we continued to be on baby watch through all hours of the night.  

Finally.. the morning of September 1, 2010 I went into the barn about 5am to do my usual morning chores. As I approached Midnight's stall she was starring at me as if to ask "when's breakfast?"  I went about my chores and went to get the hay and as I rounded the corner suddenly she was down!  Was this IT?  My heart pounded with anticipation.  I became very quiet as not to distrub Midnight.  I sat there with all my baby books open, some to the emergency pages just in case when I heard her pushing and a gush of water flooded the area.  My heart was racing with excitement.  I began to pray for her and the baby and might have even cried as little hooves and a nose appeared.  In a panic I thought they were in the wrong position and dialed my vet to also get them out of bed early (why not, vets love that, right?).  As she pushed again, I saw a little head and promptly removed any mucas from his nose.  One more push and he was out!  Midnight sat resting and I was still in a panic as the vet called back, only to assure me all was well and they'd be out that morning to check the new foal. As Midnight continued to rest for another 3-4 minutes, I continued to clean the baby off.  Within minutes Mom took over the duties as I sat in wonder that I actually got to see a horse born. How many horse lovers actually get to see this miracle?  Needless to say, I spent the next few hours in the barn, cleaning up the birthing mess, hanging around to keep an eye on mom.  The vet arrived and pronounced a healthy baby and healthy mom.  

On that date, I assured Spirit he was in good hands and he would live his life in comfort until the day he dies here.  You see, every pony on our farm has a commitment from us that we will make sure their needs are always first and to ensure they live in a safe, happy and healthy enviroment.  One where they will enjoy top notch health care, meals and a green pasture to kick their heels up when the need arises.  

Spirit is no different, he enjoys his work but he enjoys his play time even more.

As you see by the pictures today on the social media sites, he has grown to be a fantastic addition to Ponyland and one his mother (who has since retired but still lives here) is surely proud of!

The "Talk"

The part no one wants to talk about… our rates.
Beth West
Event Manager, Staff Writer
June 5, 2015
When a prospective client calls or emails about a pony party or petting zoo, more than once  we’ve heard “Wow, that it too expensive!”  or “You make a lot of money, I should own a pony business.” 
Now to the nitty gritty.
When you look at our rates page, we provide a detailed listing of our rates.  Keep in mind a few things, for example:
For a one hour pony party, the day begins about 6am with caring for the animals.  
5 hours before your party, the animals are cleaned and possibly bathed.  The tack is inspected, the truck & trailer are hooked up and a pre-trip inspection of the vehicles are taken.
4 hours before your party, all the equipment is loaded as well as any feed and water the animals might need while we are away from the farm.  All licenses are double checked, permits on hand and touching up/grooming the animals to make sure they didn’t decide to roll in dirt after their bath.
3 hours before your event, the animals are brushed, hair done and tacked up at our farm.  Ribbons are checked and applied and any last minute grooming completed. 
2.5 hours before your event the animals are loaded into the trailer, safety checked for the ride and given hay for the trip. (Everyone likes a snack for the road).
1.5 hours before your party we are on the road heading to you.  We always allow extra time hauling the animals because of traffic delays and to ensure the animals have an enjoyable trailer ride.  We want to have plenty of time in the event of unforeseen circumstances on the roadway.
15 minutes-30 minutes before your event, we have arrived!  Allowing set up time and time for the animals to get to know your neighborhood.  This allows the animal’s time to feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Then~~your party!  Lots of excited children (and adults) and everyone has had a blast!
NOW.. More hard work for the Ponyland Staff.  Consider everything in reverse.  For a one hour pony party it can take approximately 6-8 hours of time put into it.  
All this comes into consideration when setting our rates.  Also, we have to consider:
•Cost of feed and hay for the animals
•Staffing costs
•Daily care & maintenance costs of caring for the animals
•Veterinary costs
•Blacksmith charges
•Fuel for the truck
•Cost of the trailer
•Fees for permits and licensing for pony rides & petting zoo
•Licensing for all vehicles
•Insurance for the vehicles
•Insurance for the business of pony rides, which is very costly.
When you add all this up, it may help to make some sense as to why pony rides are not cheap.  We really do make every effort to make then as reasonably cost effective as we can, but in reality, life is expensive.
If our packages are too much for you, call us and let us know what your budget is and let’s see if we can’t work something out for you.  We make every effort to work within a budget because as you see by all that is involved, we do this business for the love of the animals and to bring a smile to children’s faces. 
We hope that helps!
Until next month!  Happy summer!

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All About Ponyland

Beth West
Event Manager, Staff Writer
How did Ponyland begin?  In 2005 our pony crazed daughter graduated from high school and went to off to college. We still had ponies from when the kids were little who needed a job.  Both Brian and Beth are avid horsemen, previous 4-H Saddle Horse Advisors for Lake County and actually first met in 1981 as Lake County 4-Her’s themselves! Ponies are in their blood.  Also, Brian’s first job was a pony ride helper back in the mid 1970’s having worked with a renowned local horseman for many years.  All of this played a significant part into starting the business.  
Established in 2006 under Brian West Enterprises, we officially changed our name in 2008 to a more “pony friendly” atmosphere!  We wondered how can we interact with children, teach children about the love of equines and bring the joy of a pony to a child that may only read about them in books.  That was when we decided to start the pony business.  After the acquisition of a few more ponies, contacting a mentor and navigating the web, we expanded our operation to include a petting zoo we have now grown to be the best premier pony ride & petting zoo operation in Northeast Ohio!  
What sets us apart?  Our attention to detail!  We both carry certified background checks for your child’s safety and are also CPR/First Aid Certified.  We go above and beyond with our insurance and participate in voluntary programs through the USDA, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Cleveland Better Business Bureau and local agencies to ensure healthy animals and happy clients! 
We invite you each month you will see in our blog what sets us apart from our competition.  Stay tuned!

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