With Pony Club camps getting underway across the country, here are 15 types of Pony Club parent that you may well recognise along the way…
1. The DC
This parent is the branch’s ‘top dog’. A bit of a celebrity in the area, we can’t help but try to befriend this person, and their offspring. They are extremely organised, know your event schedule better than you do and are always suggesting that you should join the committee.
2. The flashy mum
We all know the flashy mum… she boasts all the latest gear, has the nicest lorry and owns a top competition pony, complete with diamanté encrusted tack. This is the mum who still manages to look effortlessly glamorous while mucking out 10 stables and you can’t help but be a little jealous.
3. The proud parent
This is the one who hangs every clear round rosette on the mantle piece and proudly shows you the videos of their offspring’s dressage tests from the weekend. All of them. They buy a photo from every competition and the family home is filled with framed photographs.
4. The pushy one
The stereotypical competitive mother or father who enthusiastically signs her or his child up for every rally, team and event on the agenda. Said child competes every weekend, but you suspect they might be happier jumping a slightly smaller class that the one they are in as their parent appears to be more excited and enthusiastic than their child at all times.
5. The gossip
This nosey parker knows everything – think ‘Gossip Girl’ meets Pony Club – including all the scandal and drama within your branch, and one 50 miles away too. They even know how much your friend’s neighbour purchased their new pony for. This one is more than happy to share their opinion over a cup of tea or something stronger.
6. The mumsy mum
The ‘mumsy’ mum is everyone’s best friend. She is very sweet and friendly and always has time to ask how you are. She’s the one that brings the delicious chocolate brownies to rallies and packs extra snacks for you to take on the lorry.
7. The strict one
We’re all secretly a bit scared of the strict mum or dad. This is the parent that doesn’t let their daughter stay after the disco on the last night of camp and wouldn’t dream of letting her participate in any pony swaps.
8. The over-achiever
This parent is good at everything. They were a top event rider when they were younger and you keep your fingers crossed that he or she will offer you a lesson. Their children seem to be equally as talented, taking home every red rosette and studying for their B tests in their spare time.
9. The non-horsey parent
This endearing mum or dad can’t tell one end of a horse from the other. They find horses a bit intimidating, but support their child none-the-less. On the odd occasion you overhear them wondering how they were the one to end up mucking out three stables and driving a horsebox or towing a trailer…
10. The snap-happy parent
This is the parent who films their child’s every round and always has a camera in hand. They even film other children’s rounds ‘just in case’. However, when you come to admire their photography you often find only a tail caught in the corner of the frame or a gripping video of the grass…
11. The one who washes the dishes
This parent is a little quieter than the others and avoids any drama. They want to help out at Pony Club camp, but finds their forte lies in breakfast, lunch and dinner duty. They usually befriends the non-horsey parent.
12. The nervous one
This is the can’t watch hands-over-eyes parent who is anxiously biting their nails from the sidelines while pretending to watch their offspring’s cross-country round. The child loyally wears a body protector, hat and gloves at all times and quickly dismounts if the pony misbehaves.
13. The get-on-and-do-it-themselves parent
It doesn’t matter if their child is competing in the unaffiliated 1’6’’ class on a 14hh pony, this parent will be shouting from the sidelines at any competition. If the child’s pony refuses a fence they will storm in, get on and complete the course themselves. Most often found next to the pushy parent and is quick to offer anyone nearby riding advice.
14. The lost looking one
Often, but not exclusively, applied to dads. We’ve all seen at least one lost looking dad wandering around the cross-country course in search of a particular fence, or watching the wrong child’s jumping round. Thanks for tagging along though. We do appreciate your support.
15. The bored sibling
It wouldn’t be right to forget the rest of the family… this is the sibling who has no interest in horses, yet has been dragged along to shows for as long as they can remember. They would much rather be at home playing on the computer than standing in a field, but have come to support you all the same.
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