In The Saddle: Happy campers and fun in the sun at Pony Club

Well, what an exciting week it has been with my daughter and her pony.

By Anita Marsh
Friday, 09 August, 2019, 23:06

We’ve just arrived back from our first Pony Club Camp and it has been absolutely fantastic.

The Pony Club is a national voluntary organisation which promotes the education of young people through instruction and examination in riding, horse care and animal welfare.

As many of you are aware, we recently joined our new local pony club for North Lincolnshire after our last one disbanded in Wentworth, South Yorkshire.

Enjoying the fun at Pony Club Camp. (Photo: David Sharp).

The Scunthorpe and District Pony Club is closer to our new house and I have to say it is outstanding.

The committee organise plenty of varied events throughout the year to suit all individual needs and are a friendly, helpful bunch who all are passionate about encouraging children to be the best they can be.

At camps and rallies children are taught best practice in a fun and safe environment. Due to the age ranges within our club, there are camps organised to suit everyone. Mini Camp is for 2-11 year olds, whilst Senior Camp covers 11-25 year olds.

Personally I didn’t think Alyssia would want to go to Pony Club Camp as she’s very shy, but she surprised me by saying yes.

So, off we trotted (pardon the pun) to a three day mini camp held at Thorpe Meadows in Crowle. Members camped out in a variety of tents, horse lorries and caravans.

This was our first camp but our pony, Mara, has attended many camps with her previous owners down in Essex. We knew Mara would look after Alyssia and we were right.

There wasn’t any time for children to be bored. The agenda was jam packed with lessons in show jumping, dressage, stable management with fun gymkhana games and musical rides too.

The instructors were fabulous, giving individual attention to children and their ponies and pushing them in all the right areas.

The committee had organised talks from farriers and how to make a ribboned browband. It was meant for the children, but most mums took over.

Thankfully no mothers hit me over the head with mine as I repeatedly got it wrong and had to ask for copious help! Cheers ladies. I owe you one.

One thing that struck me was how supportive the parents and children were of each other. There was a true team spirit. I’m sure our whoops and cheers could be heard for miles around.

We didn’t rough it with camp fire food either. Yummy catering was provided by the committee’s parents so everyone ate really well. Lord knows how many cakes were baked too. My thighs will be cut off future photographs!

Watching everyone in the arena you couldn’t help but be proud. Every child came away achieving major personal goals and improved tremendously. I feel so proud of my daughter and of all the children there too.

It wasn’t just our children that made good friends - I think I can safely say for all the parents that we’ve all made friends in each other too. Although I might have lost a few following my browband-gate debacle!

To top it off all those wonderful memories were captured by photographer, David Sharp. He took over a thousand photographs. I think we bought most of them!

Special thanks must go to Helen Ritchie and Emma Rowland of the committee for organising it, to all the instructors and to the photographer David Sharp.

Well done to all the children and their spectacular ponies - we will definitely be back next year.

If you want to join this Pony Club I would highly recommend it. Please contact Helen Ritchie, Assistant DC on 07746858886 or via email on helenritchie7@btinternet.com.