Western Sydney writer, trier of new things and lover of food
Published August 8th 2014
The first time I saw them I thought it was hilarious: cute, fluffy little animals bouncing around the shopping centre with a delighted kid on its back. I'm not talking about real animals, but toys that move along like a merry-go-round horse loosed from the carousel. My partner and I and his kids stared in fascination as we watched children riding on an array of colourful toys going round and round the centre stage at Westfield Mt Druitt. Our kids' curiosities were immediately piqued and soon we were inquiring with the operator about the cost, and (shyly) if an adult is allowed to ride on the big horse (the biggest toy can take on up to 90kg but I decided not to go on lest I make a fool of myself).
One of the toys on offer: Horse
GoPony has been established since 2013 and they have recently started operating in shopping centres. Besides Westfield Mt Druitt, they also operate in Bondi Junction, Chatswood Westfield, Darling Harbour, Erina Fair Central Coast, Hurstville Westfield, Parramatta Westfield and Waringah Westfield. They are also at the Entertainment Centre, Moore Park every Saturday. GoPony is also available for hire at private parties and it is also available for sale at their website (details below).
Besides ponies, they also have horses (large size), lion, zebras, tigers and unicorns. They suit kids aged from 3 to 13 years and come in a range of sizes from small (for kids up to a maximum weight of 25kgs), medium (for kids up to a maximum weight of 40kgs) and large (for kids up to a maximum weight of 90kgs).
We paid $5 for our older kid to ride the biggest horse for ten minutes; it doesn't seem very long, but it was plenty of time for our little aspiring jockey to enjoy the ride and get tired from the pedalling! The horse moves along by pushing on the pedals on its sides, similar to what you would do for a bicycle. The seat then bobs up and down which provides the "push" needed to give the toy momentum to move forward. The wheels on the feet of the toy also help to push it along, and the rider is able to steer the direction by the handles on the sides of the toy's head. It was amusing to watch the kids ride along, as the bobbing up and down of the seat makes them look like real horse-riders. For a small price to pay, a kid can get to have some make-believe fun and enjoy the ride and parents can relax and take lots of photos to treasure, like we did!
Where:Bondi Junction, Chatswood Westfield, Darling Harbour, Erina Fair Central Coast, Hurstville Westfield, Mt Druitt Westfield, Parramatta Westfield and Waringah Westfield. Also at the Entertainment Centre, Moore Park every Saturday
Cost:At shopping centres, from $5 per child for 10 minutes. Other costs apply for private party hire and for purchase