Why Pony Painting Is Not a Game

Posted by on August 13, 2018 | Permalink

Pony painting has emerged as a cruel new trend for children’s birthday parties. During these activities, which are taking place across the UK, kids are encouraged to “decorate” ponies or horses with chalk-based paint. Not only is this distressing for the animals used, it puts both them and the children at risk – and it sends the wrong message about the way these sensitive animals deserve to be treated.

The first lesson a child should be taught is the Golden Rule – to treat others as you’d wish to be treated. So if children wouldn’t like to be forced to stand still while someone painted all over their bodies, it’s wrong to subject ponies to the same kind of behaviour. Allowing kids to treat animals like colouring books is a lesson in insensitivity and disrespect to which no thoughtful parents would expose their children.

Ponies and horses aren’t party props – they’re intelligent, complex animals who should be appreciated for their natural beauty. They’re also sensitive and easily spooked – there’s even a danger that a child might be kicked by a pony who is stressed out from being forced into a party environment with loud music and excitable kids. Animal exploitation has no place at a children’s party, so we’re calling on parents to opt instead for cruelty-free activities – like finger painting or face painting.

What You Can Do

  • Never arrange a party at which pony painting will take place, and don’t attend one – or allow your kids to – either.
  • If you hear that an event involving pony painting is planned in your area, write a polite letter to the organisers urging them not to support this cruel and potentially dangerous form of animal exploitation, reminding them that animals are not ours to use for entertainment.
  • Help end the suffering of other animals abused in the entertainment industry by urging Michael Gove to ban wild-animal circuses now, not in 2020.