Penny pony rides

Horses like this were common in grocery stores when I was a kid and I rode them every chance I got. This particular one is for sale as a vintage item and a ride on it back in the day obviously cost 10 cents. Other pictures of similar rides showed 25 cents. The horses come, or came, in a variety of colors, but all were either 10 cents or 25 cents to ride.

That’s why I’m so delighted that at least one of these horses is still operable and giving rides to children every day — in my supermarket.  He’s basically a dark brown and seems to run almost nonstop when I’m there. But the most amazing thing about him is that he only costs a penny to ride. One cent! Offhand I can’t think of anything else these days that you can buy for a penny, but I don’t get into brick-and-mortar stores much anymore. I haven’t seen a gumball machine for a long time (do they still exist?), but I’ll bet even a piece of gum costs a nickel now. Just a guess.

Anybody know of anything you still can get for a penny these days?


June 19, 2020: Word came yesterday that the penny ponies are being removed from all KingSoopers stores in Colorado. I suppose it was inevitable, but it still made me very sad.

17 thoughts on “Penny pony rides

  1. Whoa there, pardner. You’ll have to come to the Midwest to do it, but you still can ride “Sandy the Penny Pony” hear the entrances of some 200 Meijer supermarkets. The company refurbished or replaced Sandys in 2008 to ensure visiting kiddos could continue to enjoy a spirited ride.

    1. Oh that’s wonderful! My hat’s off to Meijer supermarkets for doing that. Makes me smile every time I see a child riding that pony — and reminding me of when I was little. It’s always so refreshing to see that some things, after all these years, still haven’t changed. And nearly miraculous that it’s gotten cheaper! I’ve often wondered who is underwriting the pony here, because obviously a penny a ride won’t cover the maintenance costs.

      I once commented to one of the checkers about how much I liked the pony and he said he hated it, that kids fought all day over whose turn it was to ride. (The pony is near the cash registers.) I can only wonder where the parents are when their kids misbehave in public … Probably shopping and counting on the pony to babysit the kids.

        1. I visit our Meijer at least once, and usually twice, a week. Have never seen any problems involving the penny horse. All small riders I’ve noticed have been attended by a parent or older child. People leave pennies on the horse platform, and there usually are a dozen or so there for anyone who has a need . Guess we just have “good horsemanship” here in SW Michigan.

        1. Sad that inflation has killed penny gum and candy. But I’ve known this pony is special. About once a month, when I’m checking out, I ask the cashier if the ride is still just a penny. So far, so good. A few weeks ago it was broken, something about the coin box getting jammed. But they replaced it with a newer, better pony — and it’s still just a penny.

... and that's my two cents