In the quiet community of St. Rose, Glenn and Kaye Harris, co-owners of Pony Tales, a 25-year-old family owned pony ride business, employ students as young as 12 years old to help groom 18 ponies, two miniature ponies, and two horses for social events.
Since 1983, Pony Tales has been doing pony, horse, wagon, and Merry-Go-Round type rides for celebratory events like children’s birthday parties, summer camps and fairs.
“We’ve been in business for 25 years and 17 of those years we’ve been in St. Charles Parish,” Kaye Harris said.
“Because the job is considered an agricultural position the Louisiana labor laws allows us to employ workers as young as 12 years old to provide upkeep and care for the ponies,” she continued.
“We don’t expect the children to have previous experience because we provide training, but it helps if they are animal lovers,” she added.
Harris, along with her crew of 21 kids, take the horses, to various birthday parties and celebratory events where excited and occasionally frightened children get an opportunity to take their first pony ride.
“I love working here,” Alaina Brockmann, Hahnville High School student and horse groomer told the Herald-Guide.
“I’ve been helping with the horses since last year when I attended R. K. Smith Middle School,” she continued.
“And I enjoy seeing the smiles on the kids faces when we go to a birthday party event and the children know they are getting ready to take their first pony ride.”
Ashilee Gies, 12, a St. Rose Elementary student started working a couple of months ago, said the money she makes will going into a savings account to fund her college education.
“When I went to my first party there was a little boy that was scared to get on the pony, he cried and cried,” she said.
“Once the little boy realized the pony was not going to hurt him he got on and took a ride before the end of his birthday party.”
The kids make $2 per pony they clean. The starting pay rate for walking ponies is $5 per party (not for travel time in between because the kids are allowed to listen to music, read or do homework.)
“The kids work between one to four parties per day,” Kaye said.
“Our busiest seasons of the year are spring and fall weekends,” she continued.
If you are interested in being a Pony Tales helper contact Kaye Harris: 504-469-0168.
|Photo by Shonna Riggs|