Young horse riders

Play Date bookings for 2021 are CLOSED for the year unless you have already registered.
New registrations and bookings will open in spring of 2022.

Pony Play Dates

For our youngest horse enthusiasts!

We offer a variety opportunities for our younger enthusiasts to engage with our ponies!

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST PRE REGISTER: Please complete the form at the bottom and click SUBMIT.

You will receive an email with the registration forms and next steps in order to get your booking link!

Do you have a horse-crazy child in your life? Most stables will not take children younger than 8 in their programs. At The Big Purple Barn, we feel it is important to give even the youngest children the opportunity to interact with horses, even if they are not old enough for regular instruction. That is why we developed Pony Play Dates! You get to schedule your own time to play with a pony friend!

 

Pony play dates are designed to introduce children to horses and horseback riding in a structured way that is fun and interactive. There is no weekly commitment and it is a great time to play with your pony friend outdoors! 

We can even accept most small children with developmental and learning disabilities upon approval from our program director. Our ponies have successfully worked with children with downs syndrome, autism and several other types of special needs. While we are not a certified therapeutic facility, when working with enthusiastic and involved parents along with our volunteers and ponies, we can make magic happen!

TRADITIONAL RIDING PLAY DATE:

In our traditional play dates, children learn to handle, lead, brush and tack their ponies with the assistance of our instructors. They learn about the names of the brushes and tack and how we care for the ponies. The riding session takes place in our sand riding ring around fun obstacles and includes games that build confidence, balance and encourage fun! Age appropriate skills and vocabulary are part of each session which is essentially, a modified lesson, preparing them for future routine instruction.

 

Children must be at least 3 years of age for Play Dates and have specially trained, camera ready small ponies to lead the fun! Our littlest riders of course, will participate with the help of adults that accompany them. If you have a smaller child, or a younger sibling, please contact us for options.

NON MOUNTED INTRODUCTION TO HORSES AND PONIES:

Sometimes children (and adults) may be too timid and/or overwhelmed to be able to ride in one of our traditional play dates. These sessions can follow the lead of the child and are designed to encourage them to be comfortable and confident around the animals at the farm. It is a great first step towards riding. We do our best to maintain flexibility and provide encouragement and support to those exploring the barnyard! 

This session is open to children as young as 5 all the way through ADULTS! In this session, you will get to learn to groom, handle and lead a horse or pony through a series of obstacles! This is a great way to come get a little more hands on and have a great time learning to handle a horse or pony hands on! If you have a child that may be too timid to ride, this is a great first step. Adults can join in this fun too!

THERE IS NO RIDING IN THIS PROGRAM. IF YOU WANT TO RIDE,

PLEASE SEE THE TRADITIONAL RIDING PLAY DATE DESCRIPTION.

 

During our UNICORN SEASON, there is even an option to dress your horse or pony up LIKE A UNICORN! This session can be individual or shared.

These sessions can follow the lead of the child and are designed to encourage them to be comfortable and confident around the animals at the farm. It is a great first step towards riding.

A riding Maggs.jpg
Young girls playing with pony
X riding Jonas.jpg
Zoe getting brushed.jpg

Please Submit this FORM to receive  registration forms and next steps:

Traditional Riding Pony Play Dates for our 2021 Season are following NEW COVID Protocols.
All children are required to provide their own ASTM/SEI approved
EQUESTRIAN USE HELMET after the first session is complete.
For children scheduling their first session, we will provide a helmet for use.

PLEASE NOTE

You must complete all required paperwork via our scheduling system before you will be provided with a direct booking link to choose your session date and time directly. At this time, our traditional RIDING pony play date are for single child riders. Our unmounted introductory sessions may be scheduled for an individual and there is limited availability for small groups.

 

 

Please click the links below for local stores that can help you out with a helmet!

 Our PPDs are scheduled as available Monday Through Fridays in the afternoons. If you have a helmet and are ready to go, please click the booking link below for availability!

If you NEED a helmet, we suggest 2 stores local to The Big Purple Barn:

 

DOVER SADDLERY CROFTON

and

MARYLAND SADDLERY CROFTON

Please click either link for their websites and directions! Both locations can properly fit a helmet and provide you with options! Ask for a SCHOOLING helmet and let them know you are shopping for a play date at The Big Purple Barn!

DOGS AND OTHER PETS ARE NOT PERMITTED ON TOURS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CERTIFIEDSERVICE ANIMALS THAT PROVIDE MEDICAL OR MOBILITY SUPPORT.