In The Saddle column: Fancy dress fun on horseback

We had a great time recently with our local pony club on a ride held up at Bagmoor, part of the Normanby Hall Estate. 

Pony Club organised a pony and human fancy dress ride and hunt for clues (and sweets) on horse back towards the end of last year.

Alyssia on her fancy dress pony.

Alyssia on her fancy dress pony.

We didn’t know what to do with our pony but we decided to just make her as spooky as possible but also not spend too much money on a pony outfit.

To save costs I bought a second hand single bed sheet in a lovely bright orange colour and some tinsel I saw in a shop.

I laid out one of our pony’s rugs and cut round the same shape. Not being a professional seamstress I used scissors that had a jagged edge to avoid as much fraying as possible. 

Once I’d cut out the shape we then pierced two holes by the chest and cut a strip of the excess material to feed through and make a tie to hold it together and also a temporary tail flap. It was all rather rough and ready.

My daughter, Alyssia, then helped to sew on the tinsel around the edge of the bedsheet. She’s just been doing a little sewing in her primary school so she was in her element. The tinsel his any wobbly stitching a treat!

Next we cut bat shapes out and sewed on with a couple of stitches. Quite tricky with cardboard but it seemed to work. We only needed the bats to stay on the sheet for two hours max. 

After that we placed spooky netting on and again attached it on along with a couple of decorations we had grabbed from our stash. 

On the day itself we suddenly thought we didn’t know if our pony would worry about everything dangling off her, but she was brilliant. She’s very chilled in her nature anyhow. I doubt my horse would have worn it.

There were lots of children there all dressed up and ponies with brilliant outfits on too. One had a witches hat on with hair dangling down and ear holes cut out for the pony. They looked brilliant. 

The children all had a lovely ride and despite the wind and rain I think they all enjoyed it. Every now and then they would dismount and look for clues and once they had answered the pony club quiz they had sweets as a reward.

It was cold but it was worth the effort going. It’s really hard to keep a grey pony looking clean in winter. We did our best to turn out as smart as we could. Most of the children had waterproof coats on so it was hard to see there outfits but at least they kept warm.

We had a lovely day and I know these moments are precious as Alyssia is growing up fast. Soon she will feel too old to do daft things like this but for now I’m enjoying fancy dress frolics. 

They were placed joint first place too for their outfits so it was worth all that sewing. Thanks to everyone who organised it.