Friday, July 29, 2011
July: Pony Club Camp, French students and schooling horses
6:46 pm gmt
I can't believe it's nearly August. So much has been happening that July seems to have galloped past. Sprite
made it to the Pony Club Camp
For any readers who worried that Sprite, the naughtiest pony at the Pony Club
Rally, and his little rider didn't get to go to Pony Camp, you can breathe a sigh of relief because, believe it or not, he
made it. His rider brought a whip to wave at him at the next rally and he behaved like a little angel. Both rider and pony
enjoyed the camp and came home with a hoard of rosettes. One was for, wait for it, 'Most Improved Show Jumper' but I suspect
it was the jockey rather than the pony who won that!French Students
Our French students returned again this year and their visit lasted seven weeks.
We had a lot of fun and plenty of riding. The horses and ponies were taken to schooling rounds at CoilÓg,
a fun show jumping competition and (what the boys like best) around the cross country course at Stradbally. Hosting French
students is a worthwhile experience if you have a son or daughter the same age and, if you can offer riding, you will be paid
more by the language agencies. Schooling horses before competing
I really recommend this.
There are many equestrian establishments that offer schooling now in Ireland. For example, CoilÓg in Co. Kildare holds
schooling on Friday afternoons and evenings and you can ride around one of their fabulous arenas for €20. It gives a
horse and rider a chance to jump coloured fences and scarey fillers without the pressure of competition. It's also great for
a warm up for the experienced rider before a big competition. Put the fences any height you wish.
cross country courses is not only essential before tackling the real thing in a competition but it is also great fun. When
we go cross country training, we start off with the lower fences and work our way up. We walk from each group of fences to
the next and spend as much time over the different types of obstacles as we need. We also bring a video camera (Camcorder)
with us and this is helpful for analysing problems afterwards. Also recommended are bottles of water to
drink and a picnic!
(Photos: Left: Cross country at Stradbally and Right: Schooling show jumpers at CoilÓg)