This weekend, the Yass Pony Club will host its annual camp, and both days will feature a number of activities for the riders present and some tuition from high-level eventers.
The club is expecting about 35 riders to turn out to the event, and chief instructor Allison Harker said that she expected it to be a busy and engaging weekend.
“We run four lessons a day for each one,” Harker said.
“We hire two [Australian] eventers to come instruct our children … they come down for the weekend, and along with our other instructors that we have in the Pony Club, they will give the children tuition over the weekend.
“Yass Valley Vet are coming and giving us a talk about horse welfare and volunteered their time this weekend [as well].”
The two high-level eventers scheduled to attend the weekend are Brianna Peet and Peter Gillis, who Harker described as “well known and respected equestrian eventers and instructors”.
The weekend will be conducted in keeping with the YPC’s motto of inclusiveness and the family friendly atmosphere for which it has become so well known in Yass.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity, it’s very much community based,” Harker said.
“It’s about the families going and sharing their love of horses and enhancing their knowledge.”
The camp will be particularly beneficial for new riders, as it will help introduce them to concepts and technical aspects of riding and presenting, with which they may not yet be familiar, all in one weekend.
“We’ve had a lot of new members join over the last two years, and some haven’t attended a camp yet,” Harker said.
“So this’ll be their introduction to more than the one rally days, the more intensive two-dayers, where kids tend to progress more.”
The camp will include lessons on horsemanship, horse maintenance and dietary care, polocrosse, showjumping, cross country jumping, show riding, and mounted games.
“It’s quite a comprehensive program, balanced between mounted and unmounted,” Harker said.
“It’s very fun, kids have a great time. And the families do, too.”
She added that the most rewarding aspect of the weekend for the organisers is what the children will take away from it.
“Just seeing the enthusiasm and the development of skills on the children is really rewarding,” Harker said.
“It gives parents and families access to not just paid instructors but qualified instructors. We’re very lucky, I think we’ve got seven qualified instructors in our pony club, which is probably the highest in NSW.”