If you have been lucky enough to have experienced life in a pony club, you know that for most of us, they can be some our favourite memories. Where we made our lifelong best friends, hit a few milestones (and a few fences), and moulded us into the equestrians we are today!
- The panicked checklist before you leave
“Oh god, oh god, where is that box of studs?!”
The endless lists of feed and tack and grooming supplies that your riding instructor left you are now your bible as you run around the yard franticly in your mum’s wellies trying to pack the day before Summer camp. You’ve also just had it all organised before someone asks the dreaded question; “how are we going to get it all up there?”
- That one show pony
As you and your friends sat there on your 12year old pot bellied mares and hairy ponies, you can remember being filled with envy when they rode past on a sparkling grey gelding all plaiting with brand new tack and clean fleece lining. Jokes on them though when they had to go home early and miss the cross-country for health (code word for “cosmetic”) reasons.
- Finally passing your C test
“What has it been? Like three years?”
That pride you felt when you no longer had to wear that white disk behind your Pony Club badge and actually compete in ODEs. You can leave the tiny tots and not ever have to think of circling because your pony’s stride was much longer than their 11hander’s.
- Preparing for the run out
All the parents knew the tradition of running out to the fields at bed time the day before the pony camp ODE, but did nothing to stop it anyway. So at 8 o’clock on the evening of, you were already hiding packets of biscuits under fence 8 of the cross country because you knew that you were staying out till 3 am like last year.
- Winking at the judge
“ 😉 “
You’ve known them since you were four, so what harm could winking be as you ride up the centre line at the start of your dressage test.
- The best friend
They’ve helped you plait, done the doubles on the cross country with you and shared their lunch when you forgot yours. Your Pony Club BFF is that made the whole thing worthwhile, from the sob stories shared after a fall to trying to set you up with the guy whose mare was stabled next to yours (she stopped after a swift kick to the shin) but they will forever be the longest friend you will ever have, and that’s the point of pony club, isn’t it?
All these things have contributed to how we think and what we do today, and we should thank those who volunteered their hours to make it all happen for us.
I still think the time your friend pushed you into the pony camp dung heap helped, too.
Article by Susan Doran. You can follow the trials and tribulations of this mad Irish pair on Susan and Stimpy’s very popular Instagram account.