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How To Sponsor A Pony As A Birthday Present

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There are lots of children who would love to own a pony but because of a lack of space and finances, this will never become a reality. There are, however, a large number of horses and ponies living in rescue sanctuaries that are available for sponsorship/adoption for a very modest sum. Many of the sanctuaries have regular open days so a visit to the chosen pony can coincide with a special birthday treat.
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For example, organisations such as the Bransby Home of Rest for Horses at Saxily, Lincolnshire is open 365 days a year from 10am-4pm, and often has gala open days for Friends and their families.
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While Horseworld near Bristol even organises special birthday parties for a minimum of 10 children, and provides special adoption packs for the chosen pony, with lots of Facebook contact. Check website for open hours.
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For between £5-£20 per year your child will receive a certificate with a photograph of the chosen pony/horse and access to an on-line newsletter giving details of all the activities going on at the centre. Arrange this well in advance of the visit and present the package on the actual birthday as part of the surprise.
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There are also hands-on opportunities for fund raising by saving recycling things such as postage stamps, old jewellery, mobile phones, telephone cards and tea cards that go towards the cost of keeping the animals safe.
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Sponsorship only costs a few pounds for the year, and together with a family picnic and a stop-off at one of the child’s favourite eating places may well result in a low cost – maximum pleasure birthday treat that is judged ‘the bestest birthday ever’.
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This type of gift increases awareness in the plight of rescued horses and ponies, and can often develop into a life-long interest in the sanctuary because there are numerous opportunities for active involvement in the fund raising. There are rescue centres across the country that offer similar schemes to Bransby and Horseworld, so get busy on the Internet.
Tips: 
This is also an ideal gift for an adult friend who loves horses, and can make a surprise alternative to a regular birthday card.
Warnings: 
Do make sure that you are going to a centre that is visitor-friendly. It can be very disappointing for a child to arrive to find just a couple of ponies standing in a muddy field. Check out the web-sites first because some of them make a political issue of welfare cases and the photographs used can be extremely harrowing for small children.

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