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Inventive children use swimming pool noodles to allow socially distant riding

Two young riders desperate to get back to Pony Club activity may have found a good way to meet social-distancing guidelines.

Ava and Emilia Gandy were told by mum Sian they could not re-join their friends at the East Cheshire branch until there was a guaranteed way of keeping them two metres away from other people.

So the girls, aged nine and five respectively, thought out of the box, and came up with a solution, which they demonstrated while riding Claife Clarissa and Southely Gameboy.

“They’ve been having a lot of fun during lockdown jousting with these swimming pool noodles,” Sian told H&H.

“They’ve been playing with them, jumping through them, and desensitising Emelia’s pony Gameboy, who we haven’t had long. He’s 20, and you can tell he’s thinking ‘what are you doing now?’!

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“They came up with the idea themselves of using the noodles to keep two metres apart – maybe this is the answer.”

Sian said both girls took part in the musical ride at the 2019 Horse of the Year Show, and were keen to get back to practising for displays. Preparation has now been allowed to restart, in socially distant small groups.

“And we’ll be taking the noodles with us to the practices, much to the grey pony’s disgust!” Sian said. “I’ve suggested the idea to the musical ride manager Susan Goodridge, and she’s forwarded it to the district commissioner, Jess Bell.

“I’m also thinking about taking them with me to the supermarket – I might get my shopping done in peace!”

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