If you've got a horse-loving 9-year-old girl on your hands, she's sure to want a horse-themed birthday party. While you may not be able to afford a new horse or a trip to a ranch, you can still give her a birthday party filled with her favorite animal. All you need is a bit of creativity and a desire to bring a smile to the birthday girl's face.
Decorations & Venue
Set the mood for your special girl's horse-themed party with the perfect decorations and venue. Hold the party in a large, spacious barn or have an outdoor picnic-style party in a pasture. Blow up balloons in the birthday girl's favorite colors and weight them with horseshoes. Set up cardboard cutouts of famous racehorses and stack bales of hay around the party's perimeter. For seating, use wooden chairs and hang a cowboy hat on the back of each -- it can double as decoration and a party favor. You could also cut construction paper in the shape of horseshoes or saddles and string them across the ceiling.
When the guests have tired of horsing around, serve them each a platter of "hay" -- thin-cut French fries. You could also serve each guest an apple and challenge her to eat it with no hands -- just like a horse. For a sweet treat, mold small pieces of dough into a horseshoe shape and bake it. Add a sugary glaze and sprinkle cinnamon on top. For more filling Western-style treats, serve chili or hearty Angus cheeseburgers.
Hire a horse trainer and horse for the party and let each guest take a short ride. Don't forget to instruct the guests about horse safety beforehand. If guests want to get a little rowdy, hang a horse-shaped pinata and let them take turns trying to hit it. Or, set up a horse-themed contest. Start with a lasso competition -- knot a rope to make the lasso and buy a fake horse for guests to aim at. Follow with "barrel racing" in which guests complete a slalom-style course. The guest with the fastest time wins.
Send the guests home with a permanent reminder of the party. Give each guest a plain light-colored bandanna and supply fabric paint for him to decorate it at the party. You could also give guests a horseback-riding trophy filled with jelly beans. Or, pass out stuffed horse key chains. If you want to keep costs down, stationery, pens, T-shirts and bean bags decorated with horses are all useful ideas that many kids will enjoy and appreciate.
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