Easter Egg Hunt on Horseback

 


     Easter is such a special time of the year.  We are so excited for spring and the sight of renewal all around.  We love dyeing eggs, egg hunts and our Easter Feast as a family.

     One tradition we have done is an Easter Egg Hunt on Horseback. Talk about so much fun as a kid! The idea came from helping our neighbors, the Hollifields, with horses at their egg hunt when we lived in Montana.   We then decided that would be a fun tradition for us too!

     We invited several of our neighbors, friends and family with young children.  We had everyone bring eggs then parents hid eggs while Jake entertained the kids with the bunny hop. Some years were beautiful weather while other years were snow.

     We would have someone lead the kids out to get one egg per turn.  They loved having their turn to ride a horse.  Every year it seemed like at some point during the summer we would find one or two eggs that never were quite found.

      Below is an fun article from our local newspaper, The Baker City Herald, on our hunt.

 


     Easter is such a special time of the year.  We are so excited for spring and the sight of renewal all around.  We love dyeing eggs, egg hunts and our Easter Feast as a family.

     One tradition we have done is an Easter Egg Hunt on Horseback. Talk about so much fun as a kid! The idea came from helping our neighbors, the Hollifields, with horses at their egg hunt when we lived in Montana.   We then decided that would be a fun tradition for us too!

     We invited several of our neighbors, friends and family with young children.  We had everyone bring eggs then parents hid eggs while Jake entertained the kids with the bunny hop. Some years were beautiful weather while other years were snow.

     We would have someone lead the kids out to get one egg per turn.  They loved having their turn to ride a horse.  Every year it seemed like at some point during the summer we would find one or two eggs that never were quite found.

      Below is an fun article from our local newspaper, The Baker City Herald, on our hunt.

jake and dj


Jake Bingham gets in the Easter spirit for the annual egg hunt on horseback he and his wife, Wendy, hold on their ranch for friends, family and neighbors. Dallee Jo, at 14 months, wasn't quite as into it as the other youngsters, but she still took her turn in the saddle with her brother, Roper. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr).

By LISA BRITTON, Of the Baker City Herald, April 14, 2006

Roper Bingham saunters into the field, a cowboy hat on his head, spurs on his boots and twin plastic pistols on his hips.

His grandma, Leslie Bingham, helps hitch him up into the saddle of a horse named Beggar.

“Where do you want to look?,” Leslie asks. “On the ground? In the trees?”

Roper, who is almost 4, points to the edge of the pasture where pastel plastic eggs swing from the branches of trees.

Bingham tugs on the rope and leads the horse slowly across the field where eggs both hard-boiled and plastic are hidden in hay bales, tucked behind tractor tires and nestled in the nooks of tree trunks.

“I see one! A yellow one!” Kaitlyn Huntington, 3, hollers from the back of a tan horse named Taffy led by Megan Nelson of Keating.

This is the fourth year that Jake and Wendy Bingham have invited friends and neighbors to join an Easter egg hunt on horseback.

“When we lived in Montana, a neighbor invited us to a hunt like this,” Jake said.

They decided to start the tradition here after moving to Haines in 2002. They hold it a week prior to Easter weekend so it doesn't conflict with holiday activities.

This hunt has all the traditional makings of an Easter egg extravaganza with bright woven baskets, dozens of eggs and the Easter Bunny (that's Jake after he's slipped furry rabbit ears onto his cowboy hat).

“I put on my ears and take the kids to play games while the parents hide the eggs,” Jake said.

(Games such as the “Easter Bunny Hop” a sort of combination of the bunny hop and the Hokey Pokey.)

This hunt, however, is not a typical free-for-all, scramble-and-snatch Easter egg dash that's over in 15 minutes or less.

This hunt on horseback lasts at least 90 minutes as the children this year brought more than 30 take turns riding the horses and collect only one egg at a time.

“There's supposed to be six eggs per child, and parents can bring whatever kinds of eggs they want,” Wendy said.

“Most kids have figured out the hardboiled eggs aren't as fun as the plastic eggs,” Jake said with a smile.

This year they had eight horses outfitted with kid-sized saddles, and the adults took turns taking the youngsters out into the field.

“There's eggs all over you just tell me where you want to go,” said Ken Gordon, who was visiting from Vancouver, Wash., with his daughter, Kassidie, 9.

She'd only ridden a horse once before, and neither had ever been to an Easter egg hunt quite like this one.

“That's why we're here,” Ken said.

And the Binghams make sure to only use the gentlest horses so every child, whether they grew up in the saddle or in the city, can enjoy the hunt.

“Some kids are a little nervous to ride unless an adult gets on with them,” Jake Bingham said.

Most of the youngsters, though, showed no trepidation as they awaited their turn in the saddle and the chance to maybe find an egg filled with jelly beans.

The real eggs, though, proved almost as popular.

“It's already cracked I have to eat it,” Kaitlyn Huntington said to her mom, Julie, as she proceeded to peel the egg shell and take a big bite.

“This is our first year, and they're having a lot of fun,” Julie Huntington said.

As the hunt wound down, some kids continued to search the field while others were content to perch on the back of a flatbed truck to crack open plastic eggs or peel the pastel shells of the hard-boiled prizes.

When the hunt was officially over, everyone headed to the barn where a potluck dinner awaited the hungry hunters and their parents.

“It's just low-key,” Jake says, casting a gaze over the field littered with dropped jelly beans and the colorful cracked shells of Easter eggs. “That's what makes it interesting.”

 

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