Saddle Up For an Easter Egg Hunt on Horseback

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Our Stewart family’s horseback Easter egg hunt has become a tradition that we have celebrated for the past seven years, ever since we moved to Bear River City.  Easter is one of my favorite holidays and horses are my favorite animal, so it just seemed natural to put them together.

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I tell my adult children, “I don’t care if I have to share you on Christmas and Thanksgiving, but I want you for the Saturday before Easter.”  And they come, sometimes bringing friends or other family members.  Each year it seems our family changes and grows and we plan our Easter egg hunt around those changes.

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To make things more fair for the inexperienced and younger riders, Uncle Steven and I hide the eggs according to color. Each rider has a different color or style of egg.  For instance, last year we had basketball eggs for Kory, purple eggs for Megan, football eggs for Ryan, chicken shaped eggs for Brynna, pink eggs for Janie, and so forth. 

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We’ve been collecting eggs for years, and since we ask everyone to leave their eggs and just take the candy home, we have quite a collection.  Assigning each rider their own color makes it possible for us to hide the eggs according to the rider’s ability.  Uncle Steven especially likes to hide eggs in unusual places- like hanging them from tree branches.

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A few of our family members are experienced riders and we love hiding their eggs in difficult locations- over ditches, in trees, through gates and around obstacles such as wood piles and water hazards. For our lower level riders, we have a rule that you have to be touching some part of your horse when you pick up an egg. This makes it possible for riders with less experience to get off their horse to get an egg.

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Last year we added “jumbo” sized eggs to the hunt and they sure made things more challenging and interesting .

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After the riders find their designated colored eggs, they are allowed to hunt for the prized golden eggs, which hold items like movie tickets, gift certificates and money.

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This is the most exciting part of the hunt, as riders become a little more daring and often find themselves racing for the same golden egg as another rider.

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Last year we had more little ones, so we did a hunt for them before the adult riding hunt began. We have to work the hunt around the weather, so it  usually begins at about 11:00.  Following the hunt, we usually play with the horses, give them their annual vaccinations and worm them, eat barbecue and potato salad and play badminton.

This year we add a new son-in-law and grandson to the mix so we’ll need two more colors of eggs and two more chairs at our Easter table.  And as our family continues to grow and change, so will our Easter Egg hunt.

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As for our horses, they aren’t too fond peanut butter eggs or jelly beans but they do receive their own prizes in the form of carrots, apples and other treats.

Aunt MO

Rules of Chocolate Easter Eggs

If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.

If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge.  Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.

Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

Easter, Eggs, Bunnies and HORSES?!?!

That’s how we celebrate Easter at my house- with Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and HORSES!  For years now I have told my kids- You don’t have to come for Thanksgiving, you  don’t have to come for Christmas- I just want you for EASTER!

The best Easter Egg hunt in the entire universe is held the Saturday before Easter at my house. Humans of all descriptions gather; greenhorns, cowboys and babies as well of horses of all breeds, colors and training, to find Easter Eggs hidden all over the farm. At our Easter Egg hunt it’s not about the eggs- it’s about the hunt- and the horses!

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To make things more fair for the inexperienced and younger riders, Uncle Steven and I hide the eggs according to color. Each rider has a different color or style of egg. For instance, this year we have basketball eggs for Kory, Elmo eggs for baby jack, purple eggs for Megan, football eggs for Nic, chicken shaped eggs for Brynna, pink eggs for Janie and so forth. Assigning each rider their own color makes it possible for us to hide the eggs according to the rider’s ability.

Because Megan, Kory and Janie are experienced riders we hide their eggs in places that are hard to see and difficult to get to, but we hide green horn and children’s eggs in plain sight and in places easy for them to reach.  We watch for fun ideas about where to hide eggs for weeks leading up to the hunt.

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We hide between 6 and 12 eggs per person depending on how many participants we have. We always hide a few “Golden” eggs with special prizes in them.  Although we haven’t limited how many eggs a person can find, our family is pretty good about making sure everyone finds at least one golden egg.

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After the hunters find all of their eggs they are allowed to hunt for the golden eggs that have special prizes in them such as movie tickets, gift certificates and coins. This is the most exciting part of the hunt as riders become a little more daring and often find themselves racing for the same golden egg as another rider.

easter 2010 075 After all the eggs are found everyone gathers together to open their eggs and discover the goodies and prizes in them. We usually play badminton and eat Sloppy Joes for lunch.

Planning around the weather has sometimes been an issue.  We remain in close contact with family members to reschedule from a morning Easter Egg Hunt to an afternoon hunt if needed due to stormy weather but we have never had cancel our Easter Egg hunt.

Because the horses haven’t been ridden much during the winter months they are usually feeling a little frisky for our Easter Egg Hunt. We used to give the riders a plastic shopping bag to put their eggs in but some horses would spook at the crackling noise the bags made so now everyone just plans on wearing a hoodie with pockets to put their eggs in.

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I always plan to fill extra eggs in case we have an unexpected rider, which happens more often then not.

For more unusual Easter Egg hunt ideas and fun family reunion themes, visit www.familyreunionhelper.com.

Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter Sunday.
Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs at Thanksgiving.

Aunt MO