Life as a horsey parent might mean traipsing around the country or to and fro from the yard, with a hefty credit card bill in tow. But when it comes to entertainment during the long summer holidays, you have it covered.
A no brainer. Not only does camp mean a week with your feet up (aside from the odd evening of washing up or panic phone calls when the pony has lost a shoe), but there’s the build-up entertainment too — weeks of list making, cleaning, polishing, practising…
2. Spring (summer) cleaning
Weeks off without a textbook in sight means plenty of time for the kids to get their sleeves rolled up and start giving the stable a deep clean, the tack a well deserved oil and clear out of dregs of lotions and potions.
What’s not to love about industrial amounts of sweets, uninterrupted grooming and more rosettes than your pin board can accommodate?…
3. Course building
Bring out the budding Bob Ellis in your child and spend a day building courses in the school. Re-painting tired looking poles is also suitably time consuming…
4. Pick up a polo stick
While the sun is shining and the Gold Cup tournament is in full swing, seize the moment to give polo a try. Contact your local Pony Club to find out about taster days that they are running.
5. Picnic rides
Unearth your inner Enid Blyton (and domestic goddess) and pack up a picnic for a long hack. Anything that can be eaten with one hand while your child’s pony is dragging you off in the other is a bonus…
6. Hit the racetrack
Get in touch with the Pony Racing Authority to find out about taster days for pony racing. You may have the next AP McCoy on your hands.
Spot horsey heroes at the Festival of British Eventing (7-9 August) at Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire. On top of the eventing, enjoy dressage to music, the Shetland Grand National and dog agility. Tickets from £10.
8. Longines Global Champions Tour of London
Combine a sightseeing trip to the captial with top class showjumping at this year’s Longines Global Champions Tour of London, being held at Syon Park by the River Thames (24-26 July). Tickets from £24 for under-16s and £35 for adults.
9. Equestrian autobiographies
Your children tucking into one of the equestrian greats’ autobiographies should (might) give you peace and quiet for hours — as well as giving them a dose of horsey inspiration. Pippa Funnell’s is a winner.