Do you bring the animals to a customer's location?

Yes, we bring a mobile petting farm (petting zoo) and/or ponies for pony rides to your location. We also allow visitors to come to our ranch to experience the petting farm animals and for personal pony rides. You can find out more information or schedule a time by contacting us.

How far will you travel?

Under most circumstance, we will travel up to several hours away. Gas and travel expenses will be factored in and are required. When you book the event, our online store will calculate the additional travel cost based upon your zip code, as well as determine the availability. We reserve the right to make the determination on a case-by-case basis, as other factors affect our ability to accept the job such as seasonal temperatures, other events, and handler availability.

What locations will you travel to?

We come to just about any location in Missouri and Illinois, provided we can access the location with a truck and trailer and we have the necessary space for setup.  Here are just some of the many locations we travel to: private homes, public parks, schools, churches, daycare centers, nursing homes, rehab centers, country clubs, businesses and corporate outings, , etc.  We will travel to other areas with travel costs in addition to our normal rates.

Do you arrive early or at the start time?

We leave plenty of time to make sure we are setup before the contracted start time, baring unforeseen circumstances — usually 30 min. early. We stay setup and active with your guests until the end time, and only then do we begin to pack-up, unless other arrangements have been made.

What type of events do you bring the animals to?

We attend just about any event, including birthday parties, church events, community events, festivals, fairs, picnics, weddings, family gatherings, block parties, reunions, grand openings, corporate events, municipal events, etc. However, we reserve the right to refuse an event based on our sole discretion. Some of our reasons could include the safety of the animals or participants.

What animals do you bring?

The animals we have are subject to change, but in general we will have a mixture of the following: a miniature Jerusalem donkey, goats, sheep/lambs, a rabbit, chickens, ducks, and sometimes a turtle. We have had a piglet (“Slim Jim”) and llamas in the past, but currently we are not carry these animals.

What happens if it rains?

The short answer is: we want your event to be a success and we will work with you in either making the day happen, or crediting portions paid, if possible to a future event.

Here are a few of the scenarios:

  • If the event is cancelled before we leave our ranch, we will credit the amount paid toward a future event (however, full payment is still required).
  • If we leave and/or have arrived and begun the event and we are rained out, we will credit the full amount less $200 to a future event.
  • If we are halfway through the event, we will credit a future event 50% .

With any rainout, we are always willing to provide a free scheduled visit to our animals on Solid Rock Ranch.

To date, we have not had a function rained out. Even if there is rain, it passes and your guests — especially the young ones — are not deterred by weather. So, the likelihood is that rain will not be an issue.

What about safety?

Safety — the welfare of the guests and riders — is our number one priority. We will refuse a job, refuse a ride, and take out an animals if we feel as though it’s not safe. While the very nature of live animals includes a degree of unpredictability, we take the appropriate measures (training, bringing healthy animals, working tack) to ensure the highest level of safety within the confines of practicality. However, any animal can act outside of our control given a variety of potential, albeit rare, scenarios, such as a car backfiring, gunshots, a balloon popping, children throwing items at the animal, and more. Therefore, we reserve the right to manage both the animals and the participants in regards to safety and orderly conduct. If a guest refuses to comply, we will politely refuse them service for their own safety and the safety of others, including our animals.

Are you insured?

Yes, we are fully insured for both property damage and bodily injury. Blessedly, we have not had any incidents all these years because of our commitment to safety and our reliance upon the Lord to watch over the children and animals.

We make a good faith effort to acquire or raise awesome animals with gentle, playful dispositions. Also, as we train the animals and interact with them daily, we know them well and they get to know us. We don’t every expect any problems and haven’t had any yet. However, these are live animals and animals can be unpredictable, especially given unforeseen events that can happen out of our control (care backfire, gunshot, balloon popping, etc.). Therefore, riders ride at their own risk as per our agreement.

Additionally, the State of Missouri has a statute that indemnifies equine professionals. The language below is from the statute and required to be posted:

WARNING: Under Missouri law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities pursuant to the Revised Statutes of Missouri. (MO Rev. § 537.325)

How much space do you need for Petting Farm setup?

At a minimum, it is nice to have an 6′ x 12′ area (10′ x 20′ ideal), preferably on grass. However, we have squeezed in smaller spots. And we have setup on concrete and other materials. Do your best to provide us with the best so we have the best to offer YOU and your guests. We are easy to work with and can make almost everything happen.

How much space do you need for Pony Rides?

At a minimum, it is nice to have an 10′ x 20′ or so area, preferably on grass. However, we have squeezed in smaller spots. And we have setup on concrete and other materials. Do your best to provide us with the best so we have the best to offer YOU and your guests. We are easy to work with and can make almost everything happen.

NOTE: Is it BEST to setup the pony rides away from from loud noises and violent or aggressive activities. We have great horses, but we want to nurture the safest environment possible.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, a non-refundable deposit of a minimum of 50% of the total amount due is required to secure the date. Even if you have signed an agreement, the date is not secured until we receive the deposit.

Many of our corporate clients and a few of our residential clients pay 100% in advance to avoid having to the settle up that day of, given all that’s happening during the event.

So, it’s your choice.

The deposit or full payment may be made using a debit/credit card, check, or PayPal.

How do we pay?

A non-refundable deposit of a minimum of 50% of the total amount due (or full payment) is required to secure the date. Most deposits and final payments are made via Credit Card, either online through our store, over the phone, or in person for a final payment.

We accept the following methods of payment:

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card with Visa or Master Card logo
  • PayPal (send payments to info@cowboycritters.com)
  • Amazon Payments
  • Check (the date will not be secured until the check has cleared)
  • Cash (only in person; do NOT send cash in the mail)


Even if you have signed an agreement, the date is not secured until we receive the deposit.

Many of our corporate clients and a few of our residential clients pay 100% in advance to avoid having to the settle up that day of, given all that’s happening during the event.

Do you send out an agreement?

Yes, we send out an agreement in Adobe PDF format to your email address stating the event details, your obligations, our obligations, and the total. The amount paid is usually stamped on the agreement if full payment or a deposit has been received before the agreement is sent out, which is standard operating procedure.

Do you expect or require tips?

It’s awkward, isn’t it, not knowing when it’s “proper” to tip these days. Well, let us take the guesswork out of this part of the equation: tips are not expected nor required. However, we have had tips offered to us and we greatly appreciate the vote of confidence if you feel our services warrant the extra show of gratitude. But if you don’t tip, you need not feel guilty — you were generous in hiring us in the first place!

So, be free either way. And we will be happy, either way. Now, don’t you feel better?

Do you have a weight limit for pony rides?

Yes, but it depends upon the stature of the pony or small horse we currently have on-site. The handlers will make this call case-by-case. And we do not allow adults to ride the ponies and small horses unless special permission is given.

Do you allow parents to walk alongside their children?

Yes, and in fact we encourage parental involvement unless the parent is simply too nervous or unable to walk without further endangering the situation. We reserve the right to refuse anyone to walk next to the horse. Please know that your safety and your child’s safety is our utmost concern.