By Amy Craske
To that end, I am part of a team of volunteers from a remarkably diverse variety of backgrounds and experiences, all hoping to share that experience with the next generation. The Pony Club will initially be based online, to make it truly accessible, aiming to eventually partner with accredited Pony Club venues who share the compassionate Concordia ethos.
The website will have quizzes, games and activities to complete, and a wealth of educational material made both in-house and by some of our partner organisations such as The Equitopia Center. We are hoping to cover many of the subjects missing from the existing traditional children’s organisations, and take a much closer look at areas such as equine ethology and ideal habitats, which are often glossed over. We are also hoping to give a greater focus to areas of horsemanship that the non-competitive rider may be more interested in, and indeed for those children who choose not to ride at all.
The Club will also have a range of achievement certificates and awards, again covering a much wider area than traditional pony club groups, aiming again to make sure that there is something for everyone; higher levels for older children who want to specialise in a particular area, and simple challenges for younger children wanting to learn basic principles. The educational material we will provide will be, wherever possible and if relevant, backed up by the best available research.
Rather than follow any one particular method, we intend to be inclusive of all methods which have the pony’s best interests at heart. We most of all want to encourage children to THINK about what they are doing with their horses and ponies, to follow their consciences, and to decide for themselves which paths to follow. The website is currently under construction, and we are now beginning the mammoth task of creating the educational material to go in it – a bit daunting, especially finding the time around jobs and families, but I’m sure this is going to be an incredibly rewarding task!
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Image: by Florian van Duyn via Unsplash