IN THE SADDLE

Members of Chipping Pony Club have been learning basic and more advanced riding skills while younger members have been having fun demonstrating their dressage to music skills, writes Megan Conlon

Chipping Pony Club has been keeping busy over the last month, offering members a variety of activities and disciplines to encourage the progression of their horsemanship. The first of these was the D and D+ test day, where members finally had the chance to demonstrate all they have learnt over the last few months at rallies and practice sessions.

Those taking their D test were assessed on the basic skills of riding, such as mounting and dismounting, correct position and walking and trotting without being led. They then had to demonstrate their knowledge of pony care by leading a pony in hand, tying up correctly and having a basic knowledge of a pony’s needs, as well as points of the pony and tack.

For their efforts, members were awarded a certificate and a yellow felt to be worn behind their Pony Club badge at events and rallies.

The members taking the D+ test had to have already attained the D test, and were assessed at a higher level for their ability to use the correct aids for walk, trot and canter, to alter the length of their stirrups while mounted, ride over a pole and a small fence and walk without stirrups, among other things.

Members must demonstrate putting on a saddle and bridle, and how to fit these correctly, must be able to groom a horse correctly, including picking out their hooves, and must be able to identify different types of rugs and items found in a grooming kit. Members at this level were given a certificate and a white felt to go behind their badge. Well done to our members Bea, Temps, Jennifer, Emma, Maisie and Lexi!

More excitement was in the air as our Mounted Games team took the stage at the Area competition. Throughout the colder months, our team have been going to the Winter League competitions and managed to improve with every competition. All of their hard work finally paid off as they came second in the Novice making us an extremely proud club! Mounted Games is a discipline which encompasses the spirit of Pony Club, with teamwork and horsemanship at the centre. We look forward to seeing what Lucy, Maisie, Lexi, Poppy and Millie can achieve in the future.

Our younger members have also been working on their dressage skills in order to prepare for the Area Dressage competition which is fast approaching. Dressage is sometimes considered to be one of the more ‘boring’ disciplines in Pony Club so, to combat this myth, our members have been learning through dressage to music, which combines riding prowess with fun tunes which members know and love.

As the heat rises, and the summer season approaches, Chipping have many exciting opportunities and events coming up, so watch this space!

If you’d like to know more about Pony Club, and in particular Chipping Branch, please contact the District Commissioner Joanne Conlon 01200 445143 or email: chipping@pcuk.org

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