by Shelley Dyrland
Eight ‘C’ level members of Medicine River Pony Club participated in an intensive training session July 18-22.
They were schooled in all four disciplines — dressage, stadium jumping, cross country jumping and stable management — as well as being judged on how well their horses, stable and tack were cared for.
Coaching were Amanda Penner, an A level pony club rider and coach, and Aislyn Havell, a preliminary (hardest) level three day event rider.
Camp started at Benalto Ag grounds where they were schooled over cross country jumps, learned a dressage test and practised stadium jumping.
On Sunday morning they all participated in a “mini” show where they were judged on their dressage test. Due to an overnight rain, the rings were too wet to jump in, so coaches improvised and created a “derby” course of cross country and stadium jumps in the open grassy area. All the kids had a blast and learned how to correctly pace a cross country course and approach jumps in a safe manner.
Then the riders moved to Thompson Country Pony Club grounds by Crimson Lake to learn a more challenging cross country course. They had cross country lessons over the next two days and culminated the experience with a cross country jump course. This gave riders a chance to apply what they had learned about approaching jumps, ditches and water in uphill and downhill situations as well as learning to pace their horses correctly.
This was an extremely challenging five-day “camp” for these kids and both the riders and the horses learned a great deal.
Canadian Pony Club (CPC) has 12 levels of achievement: E, D, D1, D2, C, C1, C2, B, B2, HA, RA, and A. Medicine River Pony Club (MRPC), which is a member of CPC, has 29 riders, varying in riding ability from entry level (E or D) to more experienced (D1 and D2) to even more experienced (C, C1, C2).
We would like to thank Benalto Ag Society and Andre Borduas for their sponsorship which made this event possible