The programme is starting to look a bit busy with all the activities available. Of course, you don’t have to do all of them – or indeed any of them, but you can have a go at any that you want, and perhaps move on to something else later on.
We begin the regular Wednesday rallies as soon as the time changes, at the end of March. Don’t forget that Sally and Beccy need a bit of notice if you are coming to a rally, preferably by sending in your booking form, and also there has to be a penalty if you cancel at the last minute. We do make allowances for lameness – or ill children, but the instructors have to be paid however many they have in a ride – the cost is worked out in advance. Please also mark on your booking form if you are attending the activities that say “pay on the day” – so we can tell who is going to what.
There are lots of different disciplines to have a go at. We will be putting together another Endurance team, so anyone interested please ring Sally Mellor on 01588 650603, or just email myself or Sally Williams and we will pass any queries on. There is a fun ride/endurance ride over the Long Mynd in May, and this would count as a qualifying ride for the Endurance Championships in August.
There are also training sessions for Mounted Games, Polocrosse, Horse & Pony Care, Show-jumping, Eventing and Dressage, if you want to try for a place in a Pony Club team. Later on there are practices for the Musical Ride, which we hope to put on at the Shrewsbury Flower Show again, and then at the Championships. As usual, it will be open to the smallest riders – anyone off the leading rein – and is great fun. Beccy is talking about a serious musical ride for the older members, so if you want to do a bit of dressage to music – contact Beccy.
The Event training is open to anybody who wants to have a go at Eventing. Priority will be given to those who want to represent our Branch at Area. This is quite demanding, and we ask that later on you go to a couple of one-day-events before becoming a team member. You do have to do dressage as well as cross-country, so you can’t just turn up for the jumping and cross-country practices. However, this year there will be a “Grassroots” class at the Area Eventing, so it is open to a much wider range of riders, with the first few teams from this class going forward to a Regional Championships.
Our own Mounted Games competition takes place at the West Mid Showground on 30th April/1st May. This competition makes enough money to run our Pony Club, so even if you have absolutely no interest in Games, it still concerns you. All rallies, camp, and competition entries are subsidised by our Pony Club, and all the kit for Polocrosse, Eventing, Dressage and Games is bought by our Pony Club, and this is where the money comes from. The money that you pay in subscription every year doesn’t come to us – it goes to Headquarters to cover the main pony club costs – insurance, events, training etc.
So – come and help to set up for the competition on the Friday or Saturday, help run it on the Sunday or Monday (Louise Watney is in charge of helpers – give her your name – no knowledge of Games is necessary) or make cakes for the Home-Made Cake stall. We have up to 56 teams competing, with 5 in each team – coming from all over Britain and Ireland, so it is a big undertaking – but earns us lots of money, which in turn means more fun for everyone.
I would like to end with one last thing. Please can you make sure you are clean and tidy – horse, tack and rider – when attending Pony Club rallies and other events. Very often anyone thinking of joining comes along to a rally to see what we are like, and it’s much better to see everyone in their pony club sweatshirts, with their hair neatly tied back, rather than a lot of multi-coloured hoodies. In fact, The Pony Club doesn’t allow riding in hoodies anyway, so they are BANNED at rallies.
Also, as you know, our Pony Club has a reputation for being friendly and polite. For some reason, people are always complimenting me on how nice you all are. I can’t understand it, but keep it up.