THREE OAKS — “Bert” celebrated his 30th birthday with carrot cake and plenty of well-wishers on Saturday, March 27.

Bert is a lesson horse at the Spring Creek Equestrian Center, and his birthday party was a highlight of the annual “Easter Egg Hunt with Horses” held on a sunny afternoon filled with candy-filled eggs to hunt and horses, dogs and goats to pet for an enthusiastic herd of kids.

In addition to hunting for Easter eggs, children got to pose for photos in the Spring Creek barn with the Easter Bunny and S’more the pony while parents snapped photos.

“We’ve had him since he was 9,” Spring Creek Equestrian Center owner Alison Grosse said of Bert. “He has been a lesson horse for many, many years and has taught hundreds of kids how to ride and taught them a ton of confidence. He is a very sweet, loving horse that will do anything for the kids.”

After chewing up a piece of his birthday cake, Bert was given his preferred snacks (carrot bits and apple slices) by some of the many youngsters who had serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” inside the barn.

Although he is “nearing retirement,” Grosse said Bert still does a few lessons a week “mainly because if I take the kids away I think he would be sad and disappointed.”

The Spring Creek Equestrian Center, located on Pardee Road between Three Oaks and Galien, offers riding lessons for children age 3 and older, and adults at any skill level (beginners to advanced equestrians). Sunday horse camps are held in April and May and in the summer, 3- and 4-day horse camps are available for kids.

To learn more about SCEC, go to https://www.spring

The Egg Hunt with Horses event raised money for the Spring Creek Horses Help Foundation. Established in 2019, the Foundation provides scholarships for local, under-resourced children and adults to attend an equine-based educational program on horse behavior, barn and horse care, and horsemanship.

Horses can have a therapeutic effect on children and adults. They can boost morale, serve as a friend and teacher, provide purpose and achievement, and offer a healthy alternative to other activities.

To learn more or to apply for a Foundation scholarship, go to https://spring

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