West World, Horses and Kids

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I have a confession.

I have to ask you to not judge me or picture me in too-tight jeans and ropers when I tell you.  And please, pretty please DON’T think of me in a tan Stetson and a pony tail.  Hey, I asked you NOT to.  Stop that. 

Well, I’ll tell you anyway. 

I love horses.

It started before I entered kindergarten and it hasn’t gone away.  If you (and/or one of your kiddos) are like me and love those big animals, I’ve discovered a way to enjoy their beauty without hurting my pocketbook.

Head over to West World for one of their many horse shows and do some Horsey-Watching.

Here’s what you need:

  • Blanket for you and kiddos to sit on and lawn chairs (bring ’em if ya got ’em!)
  • Pack a lunch or a snack (most events sell food, but choose wisely:-))
  • Sun hats and sunglasses for everyone (it can get bright looking into a sandy arena)
  • Optional: Toy horses for kids to play with (it might be fun to give them a new horse when you get to West World to mark the outing)

Some ground rules:

  1. Be sure to set up your kids expectations in advance (i.e. “we are going to look at the pretty horses”)
  2. Horses can kick, so be sure to talk about walking and playing quietly when horses are nearby
  3. Horses can bite.  Let kids know that not all horses are gentle and to be respectful of this if they are invited to touch or pet a horse
  4. Ask permission.  Always ask permission before touching or petting someone’s horse.  You will be surprised how happy most people are to share the affection of their big teddy bear.  Most likely a person is available to be asked.  A simple “would it be alright if my daughter pets your pony?” or even better “may I pet your pony” can open up a great dialogue and award your child a good experience.  But don’t be alarmed if they say “No,” some horses are sweetest with someone on their back.
  5. Sit back and enjoy.  It can be just a lunch-time outing, but you can enjoy an escape from your busy life and enjoy watching the horses work in harmony with their riders.

Here are some Horsey Events that look like they’d be fun for spectators:

April 10-11, 2010.  Arizona Paint Horse Club’s Arizona Spring Fling

April 10 and May 15, 2010.  Arizona Ponies of Americas Club Competition

North Scottsdale Polo Club plays weekly during the spring and winter months

The event websites are geared toward participants, but you can still find out what’s happening when and plan out your fun outing with your kiddos!  Check out all West World Events here.

Have fun horse’n around!

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