Lorrin Chantrey tells us how her four-year-old daughter inspired a unique project, including some festive woodland fun this month & parties galore
My Little Unicorn started two years ago when Lorrin’s daughter Hope started showing locally, for a bit of fun, with her pony.
‘’There’s usually a fancy dress class at local fun shows and this was always Hope’s favourite class. Her little pony Taylor has been as everything you can imagine – Beauty and the Beast, Princess and the frog… We were starting to run out of ideas of what they could go as next. Hope said one day; why don’t we take Snowdrop as a unicorn? It had honestly never crossed my mind to dress a pony as a unicorn…’’
But that’s just what they did and, with Hope as a princess, she won first place and reserve champion of the entire show. ‘’We put photos on Facebook,’’ explains Lorrin, ‘’as you do, proud mum. I then started getting messages from friends of family and friends asking to take Snowdrop the Unicorn along to their kids’ parties. We thought; why not, it’ll help pay for farrier, vet, feed bills etc.’’
After doing this for about a year, roaming with Snowdrop pretty much every weekend, it all became a bit much and inspired the next step. The family decided to build a woodland wonderland at Lorrin’s mum’s stables, ‘’so people could visit us to make ours and the ponies lives easier!’’
After obtaining all the relevant licenses, insurance and inspections, My Little Unicorn is open seven days a week, offering individual experiences, pony trekking, photo shoots, birthday parties, wedding visits, naming ceremonies… ‘’whatever a unicorn can be involved in, we do! We are always adding to the woodland and trying to come up with new ideas on how we could make it more magical, it is a never-ending game!’’
The family used to breed miniature Shetlands some time ago, and breed Appaloosas (with spots). They don’t breed ponies any more but the special ponies they didn’t want to or couldn’t rehome for one reason or another now have a whole new role!
‘’Most ponies born with big bold spots lose their markings as they get older,’’ adds Lorrin, ‘’so it just so happens we’ve ended up with lots of little white ponies that we’ve known most or all of their lives. They have been reared and handle by children most of their lives (bar a couple of rescues) so they adore having lots of fuss and attention. I used to be a photographer full time, so at the start of the summer holidays I decided to take the plunge and become a full time unicorn handler and I can honestly say it’s the best job ever!’’