We have a treasure here in Sonoma County right in the middle of Howarth Park! We took our children to ride the horses there many years ago and now we take our granddaughters. Jack is the most popular pony ever and the guy that started us on our horsey adventure! There were so many children that came by while we were there to visit “their” pony Jack- he’s one really popular guy!
Recently our 5 year old granddaughter participated in a horsemanship class that was just amazing! We watched our shy,quiet girl blossom and come out of her shell to an amazing degree over four days of class. Watching her actually trot on a big pony, arms straight out, big grin on her face and little pink cowgirl boots pointed in the right direction was the highlight of my summer! (I know she’s a pony because Lucy is less than 14 .2 hands and a pony is up to 14.2 hands…learned that in class!)
Linda Aldrich, the owner, has everything planned and executed so well that the kids in the class, ranging from 5 to 10 years old, all learned to clean hoofs:
Brush and clean the ponies:
Wrap pony legs:
Mount and dismount:
Put on a saddle, etc. properly (the kids know the proper name for everything far better than I do!)
With close supervision from her fantastic volunteer staff each child is taught, encouraged and kept safe throughout the morning.
They have time to study their horsemanship booklets and it’s truly amazing how much the kids absorbed and learned in a few short sessions.
Do you know how many teeth a horse has? The kids do! (Did you know males have more?…really this class is fascinating!)
While children can ride the ponies whenever the park concessions are open you can contact Linda at the Pony Express directly to find out about the horsemanship class: .
Learning about horses at Howarth Park is truly a special event that can be passed on from generation to generation! Just another reason to love Sonoma County wine country!
Have you taken children there through the years? Have a favorite pony?