Horse-N-Round Fun owners bring stirrups and saddles to urban central Ohio
Most 16-year-old girls can’t wait to get a driver’s license.
But not Chelsey Bush.
A dozen years later, the 28-year-old Mount Sterling woman still prefers four hooves to four wheels.
And she and her husband, Cody, share their love of horseback riding, particularly with city children in central Ohio, through their business, Horse-N-Round Fun LLC.
What began as a hobby is now a full-time business for them and their children, 7-year-old Chloey and 5-year-old twins Carter and Carley, who are becoming ever more involved.
The business evolved from Chelsey’s flair for “city riding” on her 16-year-old solid paint, Trigger, ever since her family moved into Grove City from the London farm they had owned until Chelsey was 14.
Using her own money, Chelsey bought and boarded Trigger at an Orders Road farm in Jackson Township. From there, she would ride Trigger in and around Grove City, including to Eats N Treats, an ice cream shop now called Mona's Eats N Treats and adjacent to Skate America, where she and her future husband were both employed and met.
She introduced Cody to "city riding," and the pair would ride together, she said.
“We of course clean up (after the horses),” Chelsey Bush said, but horseback riding generally is permitted in city limits.
“Police see us and smile,” Cody Bush said.
While riding horses in the city in her teens and early 20s, Chesley Bush said, she often was approached by curious and mesmerized children – and adults, as well – and was happy to introduce Trigger to them or bring him for visits to children.
As it occurred more often, the Bushes saw an opportunity to make it a business.
They lease a farm in Mount Sterling where they board horses and a menagerie of other animals that are utilized for the petting zoos that also are part of their business model.
“Pony parties” are the staple of their business, which involves bringing horses and ponies to children’s birthday parties and other private events throughout central Ohio and even beyond.
They also arrange for group rides on bridle paths at state parks throughout Ohio and wherever else one can ride horseback.
“Whenever we are at one of our pony parties, I’ll ride (Trigger) into town,” said Chelsey Bush, which included the Taco Bell on state Route 665 in Grove City after holding a “pony party” at a nearby residence last year.
Trigger is what Chelsey Bush describes as “bomb-proof.”
A lifetime of riding in the city has conditioned Trigger not to be flustered by people, vehicles and noises that would panic a horse not accustomed to it, she said.
The employees, customers and other observers at such public places when she rides up on Trigger aren’t quite as "bomb-proof" in most instances.
“Jaws do drop,” she said.
But after the shock wears off, out come the cameras, she said.
Apart from pony parties, Horse-N-Round Fun also provides carriage rides and petting zoos, commonly visiting schools, churches and nursing homes, Cody Bush said.
Apart from horses, the petting zoos include chickens, ducks, sheep, rabbits, turkeys and alpacas, he said.
The couple also book regularly scheduled events, including monthly events at Kuhlwein’s Farm Market & Deli, 1859 Walker Road in Brown Township on the western edge of Hilliard.
The monthly events grew from the first appearances made there several years ago during Kuhlwein’s pumpkin-growing season.
Such shows typically have a theme, such as the Kentucky Derby, and on the first weekend in June, unicorns.
On that weekend, Chelsey Bush, adorned in a pink unicorn costume, and an employee who assists at such events, Ashley Fielding, 16 made another city ride from the farm to the Meijer store at Hilliard-Rome Road and Renner roads in Columbus, just south of Hilliard.
The rode there not to shop but just to let people see Trigger, Chelsey Bush said.
“It’s so much fun to see the expression and the reaction of kids, who haven’t seen horses,” she said.
For the most part, the business is handled by the family, but Cody Bush said a few friends help out at larger events and when things are busier than usual.
“Chloey is really getting involved," Chelsey Bush said. "Horses are her heart and soul. The twins are starting to get more involved, too."
To learn more about the business, go to horsenroundfun.com or the business' Facebook page of the same name.