ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Families flocked to pony rides at Roanoke’s new horse ranch Saturday.
The beloved Hooley Family pony rides from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo have officially started their winter residency at the new Blackstone Ranch in southwest Allen County.
The partnership came about when the zoo didn’t ask the pony rides back for next season.
The horse ranch just opened last month.
Thanks to an indoor, heated arena, the rides will be longer than at the zoo and will be offered through the winter.
“A lot of the kids, if they don’t have the ponies at the zoo, don’t know where to get started with horses. So that is the perfect kick-off for them to ride the ponies. And then maybe later on as they advance or get older they can start taking lessons and then potentially get their own horse one day,” Barn Manager Sydney Shank, said.
The pony rides start Saturday and will run every weekend through April from 11 a.m to 4 pm. To ensure everyone is accommodated, the ranch is asking for reservations ahead of time. Those can be made by contacting the ranch here.
A special Santa Pony Express event will be first-come first-served on December 18 starting at 10 a.m. and December 19 starting at 4:30 p.m. Children will be able to ride a pony and meet with Santa.
People who bring at least one canned food item or a warmer winter gift for a local child in need will be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate good for either a pony session or a riding lesson.