How to Host a Horse Riding Party

Four Parts:Dealing with the logisticsSending invitationsSetting up the partyAt the party

A horse riding party is a fun way to incorporate horses, horse fans, food and fun all in one go. You'll need to work out the logistics of where to hold the horse riding, as well as planning the usual party theme, food and events. This article will guide you through the logistics issues, followed by preparations, setting up and running of the horse riding party.

Part 1
Dealing with the logistics

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    Consider which party approach you'll take. You'll need to decide whether you want the party to be completely at a horse riding ranch or place or you would like to have the party at your house but include taking the guests to a local horse riding place as part of the event.
    • Alternatively, if you have horses on your own property, you can combine both the horse riding and the comfort of your home.
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    If you want to hold the party at a horse riding place, you'll need to find one that can handle both the party preparations and the riding. Alternatively, they might give you a space and let you do the setting up yourself. Call local horse riding places and see what they are prepared to offer.
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    If you want to hold the party at your own home and take the girls to the event, think about the travel arrangements.
    • You'll need to get the guests to and from the farm, ranch or place. Perhaps some parents will be happy to carpool and take a few guests per car.
    • Get parental permission for traveling to and from the place.
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    If holding the party in your own place, decide which of your horses are safe for different riding capabilities. If you have beginner riders, either provide a horse that is great with learners or a pony. If you don't have such a horse, you'll need to prepare some of the guests in advance for not having a horse ride but still participating in the party.
    • You don't always need your own horses. Some child entertainers can provide traveling pony rides in some areas. Check the Yellow Pages or online for this possibility. Provided there is a suitable area to ride (your garden, a nearby park, etc.), this would remain the responsibility of the provider and all you need to do is set a time and provide payment.
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    Get permission from all parents for their children to ride horses. Do not assume it is okay without permission; ask well ahead.
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    Decide when and how the guests will ride the horses. Work out when the horse riding will form part of the party. How long will the horses be ridden for, and to where? Will it just be a fun tour of the garden or a big circle, or will it be a full ride to somewhere on the property? The choice will depend on the skill levels and ages of the guests.
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    Consider the need for horse riding hats. If the guests don't have their own, can some be borrowed from the horse riding place?

Part 2
Sending invitations

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    Make or purchase invitations. If buying them, look for horse designs. If making the invitation, a horse shape is ideal, or a saddle, horseshoe or just the horse's head. Or, use the silhouette or a girl or boy wearing a horse riding hat.
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    Add all of the needed details to the invitation. Ask the guests to "saddle up" and get ready for the horse riding party of the season! The details you'll need to add will include:
    • Party type and theme
    • Time, date and place
    • Explanation that the party involves horse riding. Hence, ask for parental permission, ask for level of experience with horse riding from the guest in advance of the party and inform the guests to bring riding clothes as well as party clothes
    • Transport requirements (if needed)
    • Any other relevant details
    • RSVP date, including your phone and email contact details.
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    Mail out or send the invitations well before the party. You will need sufficient time to get back parental permission and to ensure that all of the guests have told you about their riding abilities and have the right gear for horse riding.

Part 3
Setting up the party

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    Prepare the decorations. Obviously, as many horse-related decorations as possible is a great way to set the mood. Also choose a color theme, focused on the favorite color of the party person.
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    Choose some games. If having some games, consider basing them on horse themes where possible. Some good choices include:
    • Horseshoes
    • Running and jumping races
    • Toss the hoop over the horse's head
    • Pin the tail on the horse
    • Decorating horse-shaped cookies
    • Races with hobby horses, etc.
    Award prizes with horse show rosette ribbons. Horse show ribbons can be purchased online.
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    Make food for the party. For food, have such things as trail mix cookies, carrot stick snacks, horse shaped or horseshoe shaped cookies, cake pops, chips, etc.
    • For the party cake, make a horse-shaped cake. This could be a horse's head, a whole horse shape, a horse image piped or set onto the cake top, plastic horses roaming across a green frosting field on top of the cake, etc. If you're clever with sugar paste/fondant or royal icing, you might be able to shape the whole cake as a horse.
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    If the party is to finish with a sleepover, choose horse related movies for the movie part of the night. There are many to choose from, such as Seabiscuit, Black Beauty, National Velvet, My Friend Flicka, The Silver Brumby, etc.

Part 4
At the party

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    Have a program of events and times so that you stay within the time allowed for everything. The horse riding is probably best as one of the first activities, while everyone is bright and full of energy.
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    When the guests are horse riding, keep an eye on everyone. Those who are waiting their turn will need to be kept amused; ask them to watch the others or entertain them with a game as they wait.
    • If the guests are riding off as a party, ensure that at least one adult from the party group is also going with the guests.
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    Follow the horse riding with a quiet activity or food. Games can be left for later in the party, if you're having them.
    • If the party is also to be a sleepover, have the guests shower (in turns) before bedtime. It will ensure they're all clean and will also calm everyone down after the excitement and gives them a chance to soothe any sore muscles.
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    Hand out goodie bags at the end of the party. Include a message, such as "thanks for horsing around at my party". Include a little plastic horse in the goodie bag and some sweet treats.
    • Younger children can be given a hobby horse to take home.


  • Cowboy themed party ideas would also fit with a horse riding party, if you need more inspiration.
  • If it's winter, consider sleigh rides at a local farm for the activity instead. It still involves horses, there is still a ride and you can follow up with warm hot chocolates, warm food and cozy indoor games.
  • If the guests collect Breyer horse models, consider asking them to bring their horse for a judging competition later in the party; set up a jump circuit and have the guests take their horses through the paces; have rules and marks for doing the circuit correctly. Award miniature trophies and ribbons.
  • Another option is to watch a horse riding event rather than participate in one. This is still a horse riding party, just with a difference. This might be a visit from a dancing horse troupe, a gymkhana event, a special show with horses in it, or even a newly released movie focused on horse riding, etc. Ask around to see what might be occurring around the birthday date.


  • Horse riding carries dangers, even if the horses chosen are mild-mannered. It is important that the guests understand to behave themselves at all times, to avoid spooking the horses and to say something if they're uncomfortable, unhappy or scared.
  • Do not force guests to ride horses. If they don't want to, let it be.
  • Parental authorization must be given before guests go horse riding. Whether this is verbal or in writing is your decision but do not assume that parents will be automatically okay with their child riding a horse.
  • Changes of clothing are important; horse riding can be dirty. Even if the child stays clean on the horse, there is always a possibility of a manure, mud or dirt mishap when visiting a farm or ranch. Decent shoes are an absolute must; a horse could tread on feet without warning and injure the person. Covered, strong shoes or boots will help to protect the feet, as well as ensure the rider stays steady on the horse.

Things You'll Need

  • Horses for riding
  • Bookings and payment for horse riding
  • Invitations
  • Party decorations
  • Game equipment
  • Prizes
  • Party food
  • Goodie bags
  • Proper clothing and shoes for riding
  • Changes of clothing
  • Sleepover gear (if the party is turning into a sleepover as well)
  • Horse-related movies for a sleepover

Article Info

Categories: Riding | Parties