Nothing seems to make a better combination for a summer camp than kids and their ponies!
Medicine River Pony Club (MRPC) put on two memorable pony club camps in the past couple of weeks thanks to the Benalto Ag Society which provided the use of their grounds.
Parent volunteers raised funds as well as organized activities including riding lessons, meals, crafts, and other special activities.
One such activity was a demonstration for D camp done by Nicole Blair showing her Clydesdale “Hero”.
Another evening, there was a side-saddle demonstration by Michelle Chauncey, a member of the Alberta Side-saddle Riders.
Who would have thought you can do jumps in a side-saddle! Afterward, the kids from D camp were actually able to try riding in a side-saddle since Michelle brought along some mounts with kid-sized saddles.
It is amazing how much the riders at both camps accomplished in a few days showing incredible growth in their riding skills and various disciplines with the help of excellent instructors.
The D Camp instructors included Janet Hartigh, Kim Aasman, Amanda Penner, Amber Vick and Emma Blair as well as some help from volunteer C level pony club members Casey Cole, Tayler Vick and Bailey Kentz.
At D camp, there was a musical ride, lots of jumping including stadium as well as x-country jumps, braiding, stable management, theory, preparation for testing, tack cleaning, dressage and a fun show on the final day.
It was no less busy at the D2/C camp held the following week. The riders spent three days in Benalto holding a show on Day 3 with a judged dressage test and show jumping rounds.
They then moved to Rocky Mountain House and Thompson Country focusing on x-country for Saturday and Sunday with instruction and assistance from Amanda Penner, Kat Townsend, Janet Hartigh and Rebecca Cade.
Of course, the best part was seeing everyone having fun and cementing friendships at these camps.
What a bonus that there are pony club rides and activities going on into September and the riders can continue to build on their experiences from pony camp.
Both MRPC pony camps were made possible through funding provided by Red Deer County Division 5 Recreation and Culture Board. Huge kudos to all that participated in making the camps a great success!