As the leaves start to turn colors and the temps dip a little lower, fall arrives every year with relief from the summer’s heat. The cooler days and lower humidity gives horseback riders the chance to enjoy plenty of time outdoors on rides. If you are looking for an entertaining Halloween themed lesson activity in October, I highly recommend trick or treating with horses!
Halloween Fun with Horses
The Halloween season is a great time to enjoy time with your horses! As I mentioned above, the weather is typically much more enjoyable and comfortable during the month of October across much of the US… cooler and less humid than the searing sun of summer. Here in PA, we also enjoy fewer horse-biting bugs in the fall than summer, which adds to the horses’ comfort.
If you have the chance to participate in a Halloween themed horse show, they can be a lot of fun too! Check out all of these ideas for horse and rider costumes.
Trick or Treating with Horses
Years ago, the farm where my daughter rides started a new tradition during the week leading up to Halloween. Riders were encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes for their lesson! In addition, they were welcome to bring costume accessories to dress up their ponies. (Yes, the ponies there are total saints!)
At the end of the lesson, the kids were taken on a trail ride through the woods for trick or treating! So fun!
Check out the details below and use them for inspiration to host your own Halloween fun at the farm this year.
Riding Lesson Halloween Costume Ideas
As you might imagine, there are a few safety tips you will want to keep in mind when combining costume wearing with horseback riding:
- Make sure you have total visibility when wearing your costume. Avoid full face masks or any other costume parts that might obstruct your line of sight.
- Avoid costumes that make loud noises, as this might spook your horse.
- Be mindful of costumes with loose pieces, or extra flowy material that could potential get snagged on a fence or gate, or that might trip your horse.
We also try to avoid sending our daughter in new costumes. Keep in mind: IT’S A BARN. AT A FARM. Dirt, poop, sweat, cobwebs, etc: all of these things can potentially ruin a costume.
For the Halloween week riding lesson, we use old Halloween costumes, previous years’ dance costumes or costumes that I grab cheap at consignment sales. Once again, if you need more inspiration for matching costumes, check out these horse and rider Halloween costumes.
Here are some of her outfits from the past:
Horseback Trick or Treating
As far as the actual trick or treating goes, you can set this up however you’d like and however works best for your ring/property/horses.
Our farm uses the 8 inch plastic cauldrons for the candy/prize buckets. You can find these cauldrons at Halloween costume shops, some party supply stores, or of course, Amazon. I grabbed ours this year from Michael’s.
If you are adding candy to your cauldrons, there are a few things to consider:
- Be aware of any possible food allergies that your lesson kiddos might have and exclude those treats.
- If the days still get warm where you are located, avoid candy like chocolate which will melt and make a mess.
- Consider the wild creatures: if you are setting up a trick or treat trail in the woods, will your candy buckets be depleted by squirrels and other critters? If so, consider bringing the buckets inside when kids are not trick or treating.
If your students will be trick or treating around the riding ring, “installing the candy buckets” might be as simple as setting the buckets on top of the flat fence posts! (I do highly recommend trying to attach the cauldrons to the post in some way, such as nailing the bottom to the fence. Otherwise, the first kid and/or pony who brushes by might potentially dump your candy all over the ring!
If you are heading out on a wooden trail for trick or treating, you can nail these cauldrons right into a tree trunk! Alternatively, you could nail a hook into the tree and hang the cauldron from the hook.
Trick or treating on horseback is such a fun activity!
I hope this post helps you as you plan your own Halloween and fall themed activities for your farm. If you trick or treat on horses, drop us a comment and tell us how YOU set up the event!