9 things we got up to at Pony Club camp that we’re sure wouldn’t happen now

  • Pony Club camp is an enjoyable rite of passage for most young equestrians and those of us at Horse & Hound have many happy memories of our days at camp, even if some of things that we got up to have most likely been outlawed in these more health-and-safety conscious days.

    Here are some of our special memories of yesteryear…

    1. Soaking our chief instructor in a water fight before he had the chance to remove his very expensive made-to-measure dressage boots – this one earnt us a serious ticking off so we don’t recommend it, although the look on his face was hilarious.

    2. On the subject of water, if we refused to take a shower while at camp, then we found ourselves being rinsed under the yard hose instead.

    3. Nightly exposure to mass catering custard means the yellow stuff still makes us want to gag.

    4. But we learnt not to be daunted by washing-up on a huge scale — and importantly, that we wouldn’t be given clean hot water if we tipped half a bowl of leftover cocoa pops and milk into the tub at an early stage.

    5. If you were clever, you worked out how to your clean tack to earn a 10 at inspection without showing the hidden bits a sponge. And how to tack up in 2mins flat, because the rest of the time you’d spent running around making sure the rest of your tackroom/team/ride was ready.

    6. When you’re young, you don’t need much sleep and it’s easier to see in the dark — we had plenty of practice sneaking around after curfew.

    7. Talking of which, some of us might be a little more light fingered than we care to admit after slipping into the adult accommodation and helping ourselves to their alcohol.

    8. The above played absolutely no part in us feeling decidedly green about the gills and falling off our horses three times the next day – and the aforementioned chief instructor still made us get back on.

    9. As pay back, we worked out all the possible ways to deliberately sabotage his end of camp musical ride, by going freestyle and taking our teams with us, before rescuing it and making it look like that our deviations were actually part his original plan – except both he and we knew they weren’t.

    What are your special memories of Pony Club camp? Share them with us at hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name, nearest town and county, for the chance to have your stories published in a future edition of Horse & Hound magazine.

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