George’s Ranch is in an extreme state of excitement this week because we’re told a very special guest will be attending this month’s Toddlers’ Group. Yes, Father Christmas is coming!
On December 11th the big man will take a break from his day job to deliver some Christmas cheer to the yard as well as some presents for our tiny Ranchers.
As ever, our star attractions – Tennessee, Bobbie, Spot and Pinto – will be on hand to give rides and enjoy a general pampering, but we’ve also drafted in some extra hands in the form of Santa’s Little Helpers because this month’s Toddlers’ Group will not only be twice as much fun, but twice as long.
Starting from 10am and finishing at noon, mums and dads are encouraged to bring their little ones along and introduce them to the wonderful world of horses in a safe and controlled environment. For the usual price of €10, toddlers will get to groom and feed our ponies and, if they are feeling brave enough, enjoy a small pony ride.
It is a great day out for all the family and one of our favourite events each month because we love to see these youngsters begin, what we hope will be, a life-long love affair with these incredible creatures. Toddlers’ Group also happens to be a firm favourite with our horses and ponies who not only enjoy the attention they get, but also the steady supply of carrots and apples! Of course, with Santa coming this month, I’ve made sure we’ve got a lot more carrots in the bag so he can take a few back to Rudolph and the gang!
The other good news I have to share is that the fun doesn’t end at noon on December 11th – although Father Christmas may well have to leave in order to continue his yuletide duties – because we have a very special afternoon of events planned for our regular Ranchers.
Starting with a fancy dress competition, our riders will go on to parade their skills in a dressage to music programme comprising of two classes – preliminary and novice – followed by a fantastic finale involving an obstacle course and compulsory fancy dress! Trust me, this is something you won’t want to miss and everyone is welcome to enjoy the fun. There will also be refreshments on hand, courtesy of our ‘Ranch Family’ who will come armed to the event with a bottle and a plate!
You will find the refreshment area in the Club House, which – as it magically transpires – is as close as you can get to our Tack Shop, which happens to be jam-packed with Christmas goodies at this time of year.
Managed by the wonderful Lisa, the Tack Shop has all sorts of stocking fillers under €20 in stock including pencil cases, riding socks, bling-tastic horseshoe jewellery and much, much more. There are also a number of special offers to be found as well as an assortment of hot-from-the-warehouse saddle pad and bandage sets, cooler rugs and heavyweight stable rugs, which are just the thing to keep your ponies and horses warm on these cold, winter nights.
So, if you’re stuck for Christmas ideas for that special equestrian in your life, you know where to come. And, of course, the best day to come is December 11th – if only because it could be another year before we get to welcome Santa again!