Hi, My name is Michelle Patterson, (aka Mrs Balloonatic). My husband, Peter and I have run a kids entertainment company in Melbourne since 2002. We help mums and dads create cherished family moments through unforgettable kids parties. We specialise in amazing balloon twisting, gorgeous face painting, super cool magic shows and the most adorable pony and unicorn parties.
The pony side of our business is VERY popular, so much so that my four legged team have grown to 14 in total (actually it was larger, but the drought last year and now the coronavirus this year meant that I sadly had to find homes for 6 ponies). I've had horses all my life and although I don't compete any more I love it that I get to share the joy of horses (and unicorns) with people in back yards all over Melbourne.
My little ponies are so beautiful, they have the best natures and when people make comments like "These are the most docile ponies I've ever met", I feel like a proud mum. I believe (apart from choosing animals based on their temperaments in the first place) that my ponies are so well mannered because I have a largish herd and so it's not the same ponies going out week in and week out - they go on a roster and have plenty of down time to be just ponies.
Why I Need Your Help
So, their care and comfort and their mental state of being is of upmost importance for me.
But like so many businesses around Australia and the world, we have been hit very hard by the complete shut down of our business because of the Coronavirus, for us the complete shut down began on Monday 23rd March. That was it! Done! We had many cancellations the week before. The week of Monday 23rd saw practically $30,000 worth of work for end of March through to May cancelled just like that! And that's not calculating the jobs that would have come in. Yikes!
Just before this Covid-19 trouble, I had allocated some of our budget to buying new rugs for all my ponies - not a cheap feat. I had put this off for a couple of years opting to get what I rugs I still had repaired .... but that budget had to be set aside for just plain old living having no other income except some for some agisters on our property (thank goodness for that at least).
How Soon I Need The Rugs
As you can see by the photos, many of these rugs are literally just hanging in there. I really need to get new rugs to help keep my ponies in tip top condition which means having a combination of light weight rugs as well as the warmer winter type rugs - due to Melbourne's '4 seasons in one day'.
I decided that if there was anyway possible of having our ponies rugs funded which also has the duel action of supporting a local Melbourne business, then I should do the same by buying pony rugs from a local saddlery store - who makes their rugs on site - another local Melbourne business. Two wins for the economy.
What The Funds Will Be Used For
The raised funds will be used to purchase rugs for 14 ponies - 6 Miniatures, 5 Shetlands and 3 Welsh Mountains.
Each pony will receive :
* 1 unlined canvas rug and neck rug (good for autumn and spring when the weather is fickle and we don't want the ponies too hot, but need to keep them clean).
* 1 Cotton summer combo (these are used in summer to keep the ponies coats from bleaching, protecting from flies and mozzies, and as a clean rug/under rug straight after they have been washed for weekend parties).
* 1 Synthetic Winter Rug (for winter, similar to the rugs in the pictures)
* 1 Stable rug and neck rug (for added warmth, these are not water resistant and act as a 2nd layer for the coldest of winter weather, or we use them for traveling in the horse float to parties and events). I actually have the materials to make these and have asked my local rug maker is she would use my base materials and use her bindings, leg straps, chest straps etc just to save some cost, she said 'sure no problem'.
How This Will Help
These new rugs will make a HUGE difference to the ponies health and condition over winter and beyond keeping them dry and warm as well as clean when needed. It makes everything extra special when we arrive at a party or event with beautifully prepared and clean ponies - a picture of health and well being. I don't like to just drag them out of the paddock, brush them and take out a dusty untidy pony - our customers deserve the best.
We are hoping to have these funds raised as quickly as possible, I don't have many spare rugs left (ponies can be tough little rascals on their 'clothing'
This is Gideon. He's one of our 6 minis - he's squeezed into a rug that one size too small and it's obviously seen better days.
Top picture is Ollie, another of our gorgeous miniature ponies. Another well worn rug with many patches.
The blurry picture is of Annabelle, one of our Shetlands, this rug needs repairs, but at least for the moment it is keeping (most of her) dry.
- Debbie Cordia
- Dinnae Galloway
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