There is much more to horse ownership than just riding. There is the hard and often complicated daily management which can be a minefield to the most experienced horse owners. And that’s just when your horse is fit and well! If your horse becomes sick or injured, things can get even more difficult and it can be hard to know what to do for the best. Luckily, pony crazy children can get the best horsey education through the Pony Club.
Basic Horse Care
There are basic things all horse owners should know. Such as:
- How to safely handle and ride their horse
- What to feed their horse
- How to keep them healthy
- How to recognize illness
- How to treat an injury
Unfortunately, many of these things are practical skills. And while reading about them can help your understanding, practice is really the only way to perfect them. A fantastic example of this is bandaging. You can watch videos and read about how high and low different bandages should go and the method of bandaging. But you need someone to help you get the right pressure and tightness. Too loose then the bandage will not offer any support and may even fall down the leg. Too tight and you could really damage the horses leg!
Very Little Adult Learning
There is also very little opportunity for adults to learn these skills in a structured environment. You can get lessons for your riding and ground work. But unless you go down the rather expensive British Horse Society training and exams, there isn’t really anywhere for adults to go to learn these skills. Instead they have to rely on those around them to hopefully help them, which in theory would work fine.
But I bet all of you have been on at least one yard where one person would look down their nose at someone who didn’t know what they are doing rather than offer to help. Or maybe that because everyone has their own way of doing things, a new horsey adult could struggle to work out what really is the correct or best way to do things for them. In previous posts I have talked about how important horse owner knowledge is and I can’t help but feel that adults coming to the industry are missing out on the Pony Club experience.
Pony Club Isn’t Just For Pony Owners
The Pony Club used to be just for children who were lucky enough to have their own ponies. This meant that many children whose families couldn’t afford that expense would miss out on this fantastic opportunity. However, this isn’t the case anymore. When I was growing up and having weekly lessons at my local riding school, they were a Pony Club registered Riding School. I joined the Pony Club through them and took part in special week day lessons where we would spend half an hour working towards our Pony Club badges before our riding lesson. It was in these sessions where I learnt basic horse care, first aid and various types of bandaging. All these things have helped me when sharing and more recently buying my own horse.