A Place for Ponies
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From day one, horses and ponies have had a huge impact on my life. I was the typical young girl who spent every minute, daydreaming about the horse I would one day have. Pony Haven was my backyard, and I would sit by the fence and watch the horses/ponies for hours. Calling them up to me as I shared my carrots and gave them their own names. I was lucky enough to start working for Pony Haven at an exceptionally young age. At first it was cleaning stalls and grooming the ponies. Then, I eventually made my way to a training position. I quickly learned that there is an unspeakable bond between horse and person (to be honest, I think I knew that all along). The connection made between human and animal is unspeakable.
I have had so many amazing experiences with ponies that I want to be able to share some of those same experiences, with others. We believe in making children’s birthdays extra special and what better way to do it than have a visit from a pony. From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful experience with our ponies!
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Pony Haven has been serving Utah for over 60 years.
How it All Began
Vern and Millie Strand and family decided to move from Salt Lake City to West Bountiful in 1948. The family wanted to be in the country so they could have horses but before the family could move, they had to build their home. The Strands used Shetland ponies to carry the bricks for their new home – a beautiful colonial style house.
After getting settled, Mr. and Mrs. Strand thought that starting a family business would help teach their children responsibility. So in 1950, the family opened the doors for Pony Haven.
While Vern worked for the government, Millie helped the children – Jerry, Mickey, Diane, and Rex – with the business. With the help of their step-grandfather, Orem Ingram, the children built a frontier town on the property. The business quickly expanded into hay rides and delivering the ponies to birthday parties and other special occasions.
As the years passed, the country surrounding the family’s home turned into a city. Many of the places that were used for taking customers on hay rides disappeared. Then, the family home burned down and they were forced to rebuild. Because of the growth in the area, the city zoning ordinance required the frontier town to be taken down during the reconstruction.
Despite these setbacks, the children continued running the business of delivering ponies. The boys developed other interests but Diane continued running the business. She then married and started her own family all the while delivering ponies.
Diane ran the business for the next 65 years and thought it was time to retire and have someone who was equally devoted in her business take over. After working with Diane for the past 16 years, Whitney Lee was the perfect candidate to take over. She has helped train and care for each of the ponies at Pony Haven and knows the business inside and out. So, in the fall of 2015 Whitney took full control of the business and has enjoyed every minute of it!