Pony Club camp season is well upon us, with hundreds upon hundreds of pony mad kids around the country descending on well-prepared camp venues to learn more about horsemanship, make friends and have a great time!
For Pony Club members, the annual Pony Club Camp is often the highlight of the year. Camps can be either residential or non-residential for both members and ponies, depending on the venues and facilities available in a branch’s region. Camps are often held at racecourses, equestrian centres, farms or even just a green field site, but all have a similar goal – for children to learn whilst having fun with their ponies and friends.
We’ve put together seven ‘top tips’ for Pony Club Camp, just a few things that are all too easy to overlook and can help the week be as much fun as possible.
- First and foremost, remember this is Ireland – be weather conscious! Children will need sun-cream on hot days and rain gear / dry clothes to change into if it’s wet – and possibly all of the above on any 1 day!
- Comfy boots are an absolute must! Days at camp are great fun, but they’re also long and active, with many hours spent on foot as well as in the saddle. Our Mackey Ash boots are a really popular choice for Pony Campers – with a quality leather upper and rubber sole, Ash are available in sizes 26 – 47 and offer excellent value for money.
- Don’t forget your tack cleaning kit! We distribute the Carr, Day & Martin range of products here in Ireland and they offer a comprehensive range of products to make sure your tack will pack any tack inspection! We find Belvoir leather balsam intensive condition a great option as it nourishes the leather while adding a brilliant shine! The soft lanolin and Beeswax formula will also help restore saturated leather after a downpour and help prevent watermarking which, let’s face it, is bound to happen at some stage at camp!
- Spares items of tack are more essential than you may think. We would definitely recommend that you bring a spare headcollar and rope, a spare girth (in case the pony’s main girth gets soaked or extremely muddy) and several spare saddlepads, so pony and rider can look clean and smart all week long. Our Mackey waffle atherstone girth is a great choice. It’s elasticated at both ends and contoured for a superb fit. It encourages airflow and moves comfortably with the pony’s movement without chafing or rubbing. For spare saddlecloths, our Equi-Sential cotton saddlecloths are a great choice as they’re hard wearing, are great value for money and feature velcro retaining straps and girth loops for a secure fit.
- Fly spray! Just don’t leave the yard without it. Flies and biting insects make for impatient ponies and unhappy children… Flygard extra strength insect repellent spray contains an optimum level of 20% DEET for powerful, long-lasting protection with an extra strength formula to repels midges and biting insects.
- Don’t forget gloves and throw in an extra pair or two, just to be sure! Long days at camp can be hard on young hands, so a good pair of gloves are an absolute must. Gloves often go missing too and we all have that wondering of where exactly does that other glove go?! So spares are essential.
- Our last tip is to Label your child’s clothes! Things can (and inevitably do) go missing at camp, so if your child’s gear is labelled you stand a fighting chance of them coming home with their own gear and not someone else’s.
Happy Camping Pony Clubbers!