Ponies were once considered man’s best friend, but after the invention of the dog, the pony was rebranded as man’s eccentric, oats-obsessed nephew. Teach the kids in your life more about the kindest of kinsmen with today's Groupon: for $20, you get admission for two children, aged four to nine, to a Newfoundland Pony Pals session and ride (a $40 value) at Embarr Stables in the Goulds. Sessions take place Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Situated on 15 acres of secluded, spruce-dotted woodland, Embarr Stables offers classes acquainting pint-size equestrians with the Newfoundland pony, teaching youngsters about the Heritage animal's rich history and leading them on brief pony rides. In each hour-long session, instructors use activities as well as arts and crafts to chart the trajectory of the island's namesake equine from its roots in breeds brought over by early British settlers, through its long years of service as a hale and hearty workhorse, to its late-career resurgence as a gifted character actor. Classes take place in Embarr Stables' spacious, brightly lit indoor arena and culminate in a chance for participants to mount one of the gentle creatures and take it for a spin. The stables provide helmets and complimentary jodhpurs and recommend that children arrive wearing boots or shoes with at least a half-inch heel. Parents must sign a waiver granting participants the go-ahead.