The summer holidays can only mean one thing for most pony-mad children…Pony Club camp! We caught up with some of our supported riders to find out their top tips on how to survive a fun-filled week.
1. Even though it is only a few days long, make sure you pack for whatever the weather may throw at you. Emily Dunstan (EMD Eventing) learnt this first hand after having to ride in the rain in just a t-shirt and jodphurs because the weather forecast was sunny before she left! A lightweight waterproof jacket, like the Toggi Aster jacket, is an essential for camp.
2. Be open minded about instructors as you will usually have someone different to who you are used to. Flora Young Eventing and EMD Eventing recommend always stepping up to the challenge, you will achieve things you never thought you could!
3. Don’t worry if you fall off. Camps are supposed to push you out of your comfort zone to help you improve. EMD Eventing fell off twice in one lesson once! An up to date body protector and hat is vital in case of a serious fall. Take a look at the necessary regulations for body protectors and hats.
4. Make sure you and your horse drink plenty of water to help keep you hydrated and cool. Take a look at ZigZag Eventing’s blog on tips for keeping cool.
5. Team up and help each other with the jobs, many hands make light work and it’s a great way of getting to know everyone.
6. Flora Young Eventing recommends taking bright socks so that you will be able to tell them apart from fellow camper’s socks. The Toggi Horbury socks will certainly stand out!
7. Always be willing to take part in the activities after riding, parents and instructors usually work hard to organise these events. Be ready to take on any activity in the Toggi Palomino breeches and Giselle base layer. The unrestrictive, sock bottom breeches fit perfectly under boots or chaps and the base layer is super soft and lightweight!
8. Make a list of everything you need to take so that you don’t forget anything. Izzy Palmer Dressage advises this after forgetting all of her t shirts whilst staying away with her horse once! Also check everything for signs of wear and tear, especially any safety equipment which may need updating. If in doubt, visit your local BETA approved tack shop to ensure your safety equipment is fitting perfectly.
9. Karen McConnell fondly remembers her stable and tack and turnout inspections every morning from camp. These are usually a team event and so scoring points is important! Help to keep your show whites clean by taking some old clothes to put over the top whilst mucking out and preening your pony.
10. Label all your equipment to prevent it from being confused with others!
11. If you’re going XC, it is always advisable to wear a long sleeve top. A base layer can help to keep you cool whilst protecting you if you fall. Giselle is lightweight and dynamic with useful thumbholes too.
12. Take comfortable riding wear. You will be wearing your riding clothes for longer than you may be used to and probably in hot weather. A sleeveless summer stock shirt for inspections could be a great idea to help prevent overheating. Agatha is made from a lightweight and breathable material but also looks super smart.
13. Another great way to keep cool is by getting the #AirVentAdvantage with any of Champion’s ventilated airflow system hats. The Ventair Deluxe is perfect for XC as well as all other activities. Add a pop of colour to your camp with their range of different colour options.
14. Body protectors are a must have at camp for jumping and cross country. Many make do with a hand-me-down however these are often ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Invest in a fitted body protector, such as the Champion Ti22, to make sure you’re protected and comfortable.
15. No matter the feeding ration of your horse, always ensure that your horse is getting enough fibre and essential electrolytes within their feed as camp is just as exhausting for your ponies as it is for you! Tina Wallace (Life on the Left Rein) recommends this as camp can be very tiring for her horse, Banksy!