In The Saddle
With the eventing season about to begin, Chipping Pony Club members are busy working on flatwork and show jumping, writes Megan Conlon. Photography: SMR Photography
This month, Chipping Pony Club member, Poppy, took part in the SEIB Search for a Star competition. This competition is open to all Pony Club members under the age of 10, with an open class for older members too.
There is a Lead Rein and First Ridden class as well as this open class and the goal is to find the perfect Pony Club pony!
The ideal winner must be an all-rounder who can be used for all Pony Club activities, such as flatwork and mounted games among others. It must also have good conformation (the build of the horse/pony must be both appealing and practical) it must have an ‘excellent way of going’ as well as a ‘fabulous temperament’.
Any type of horse or pony can compete, as long as they are athletic enough to be an all-rounder while also being ‘correct’ enough to be a show horse and the winner qualifies for Your Horse Live.
Our member, Poppy, did exceedingly well in this and finished fourth overall, with only a cut corner losing her marks! Poppy attends all our activities and with her pony has been part of our mounted games team and dressage team, showing what an all-rounder her pony is. Poppy is going to have another go at the competition later in the year.
Pony Club can offer members so many experiences like this and so many opportunities to thrive and achieve with their equine friends. Chipping Pony Club can take our members far. We have had several trips over the last few years, which stay with members for years to come.
For example, a few years ago the Area Horse and Pony Care and Quiz competitions for Area 4 were hosted by the Isle of Man Pony Club, so 10 members had a great time staying over there and having fun with Pony Club friends.
Both the Winter and Summer Championships often see members competing for the club at national level, which usually requires a fair amount of travelling. It all pays off in the end, the experience of being away with your horse can be so exciting, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Personally, I went to the Championships a couple of years ago for the eventing and show jumping and had so much fun staying in a horsebox with my mum and looking after my horse in this completely new environment. There is so much going on at these events that every moment is a memory – watching the other classes or walking a cross country course – and the atmosphere has this buzz of friendly competitiveness.
But to get to these events, hard work must be done at home. We have been continuing our flatwork and show jumping training sessions throughout this month and hopefully in the summer these valuable lessons will pay off! With the eventing season right around the corner, now more than ever is the most important time to become one with your horse or pony and find out how they tick.
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: email@example.com