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Where Horses Come First ...

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:30:00
Off to Pony Club Camp, here is the lowdown.

Looking for Fun (with a capital "F"!) with your pony pal? Then as anyone who has experienced the pleasure will tell you, there's nothing like Pony Club Camp!

Whichever Camp you are lucky enough to be going to this summer holidays, you and your pony can look forward to an exhausting but exhilarating few days with never a dull moment.

At the end of it all you'll come home (reluctantly!) with a lot more confidence and knowledge of horsemanship, a host of new friends, and a set of memories to cherish.

Planning and preparation is the way to get the best out of Pony Club Camp - and hopefully a few awards too. It's all about you and your pony being well-equipped and well turned out, ready to face all the challenges from early morning muck-outs to cross-country hacks.

Don't leave it all until the last minute! As soon as you're booked in for Camp, make a list and check it twice. You may be supplied with a check list by the Camp organisers, but there's no harm in giving it careful consideration and perhaps adding some extra personal requirements or home comforts! Oh, and it's wise to have everything (including tack) name-tagged.



Here's a general list of the basic "must haves" for Pony Club Camp:


Beige or cream jodhpurs
Long-sleeved white shirts
Pony Club tie, badge and scrunchies 
Pony Club sweatshirt
Riding hat
Body protector
Work clothes for mucking out
Several sets of casual clothes
Pyjamas
Underwear and socks
Jodhpur boots
Waterproof Jacket
Wellington boots
Swimming gear
Sun hat

Other essentials:
Towels
Hair brush and hair accessories
Bag of toiletries
Torch
Bedding (appropriate to the facilities being provided)
Mug, plate, bowl and cutlery
Notebook and pen
Sun block


Tack for your pony:
Saddle
Bridle
Girth
Numnah/Saddle cloth
Bandages/boots (if usually used)


Tack cleaning kit
Water bucket
Feed bucket
Haylage nets
Feed (labelled with your name)
Bedding
Forage
Mucking out tools including wheelbarrow


There are other things to consider too, in the run-up to the Camp. Both you and your pony should be as fit as possible, so have some regular, consistent work-outs.

You'll need travel equipment to keep your pony comfy and safe in transit (travel boots, tailguard, poll guard etc.). Also, before you leave for Camp make sure your pony is freshly shampooed and groomed, and all tack and kit is clean and functional.

What to expect:

The programme for a typical Pony Club Camp starts with the hustle and bustle of preparing your pony's stall, unloading him and settling him in, while you meet your fellow campers.

When you've seen to your pony, you can get your own bearings in the camp, enjoy the first evening's meal and socialising (often a welcome barbecue) and get an early night, because you'll be up with the birds!

Mornings mean mucking-out and feeding, as early as 7am, before breakfast and getting ready for a day of equestrian activities of all sorts - dressage, show jumping, mounted games, hacks. Interspersed are lessons on the finer points of pony care and horsemanship and practices for achievement awards and badge tests.

Once the ponies are groomed, fed and put to bed or turned out for the night, there's usually a good-natured tack cleaning session, before dinner and an evening activity. It could be anything from an organised disco dance or trip to a local cinema, to playing board games or just enjoying hanging with friends.

Usually there are tack and turnout inspections made each morning before the start of the day's riding activities, and a stable inspection at the end of the day. Combined scores for the duration of the camp end with a presentation of awards to the best overall scorers on the final evening.

Here's hoping hundreds of young riders and their mounts will be extremely happy campers these holidays!

Totally Tack has plenty of advice and equipment to make sure little people and ponies are primped to perfection!