We're big fans of Pony Club. Lots of children join when they are beginners and they soon find their level. 8 is a great time to start - leave it any later and they will find children their own age are usually quite experienced and off jumping etc.
We don't have perfect ponies,one of the rally organisers saw dpony and said 'oh God I remember THAT pony',and one of the ponies we took to camp broke away from the trailer twice and bucked and span so violently that we had to retire her by lunchtime.We were overwhelmed with offers from the other parents, of ponies for DD2 to ride so she didn't miss out.Dpony is a grey who lives out,has never been clipped and loves to roll,plus I can't plait,so we are far from being perfect.We haven't had any snarky comments [not to my face anyway].
Joining PC was the best thing we've ever done for DD2,she is very shy and not a joiner,won't go to Brownies or anything like that,but by lunchtime of the first day of camp,had run off with her new friends.When she went back to school,her teachers couldn't believe how confident she'd become.
I hope your DD gets as much out of it as my 2 have.
If dd gets into riding and has a pony you'l need 3rd party insurance for her, and Pony Club membership provides that, as well as all the fun that goes with it. GD has loved her Pony Club years and it's done a lot for her riding and she's made some good friends. Maybe see how it goes for a bit first though?
I worried first time we went (in at the deep end for a PC camp!) that everyone would have super posh ponies & look down their nose at our un posh one lol but it was absolutely fine & he held his own like a little trooper! There are absolute beginners on lead rein to some amazing riders but everyone is grouped to their ability.
Yes, there are the pushy types but no more than the school playground etc. The only time I felt embarrassed was turning up with a yellow (I kid you not!!) pony...he was unclipped, very hairy & had a good old roll in the mud (clay!) that no amount of diamond white shampoo was going to shift...nor will the memory!!!
I think it varies from PC to PC. This area has a lot of money in it, [commuter belt] and our PC is quite competitive. Just dont take any notice. Do what I did and say 'piss off, ths is our pony and we like her! We took DD on our big trad shettie. You would have thought she was riding a two headed alien! Our local riding club is much nicer.
Oh really is it v competitive? We are too skint to keep buying more anyway literally sacrifice everything to have the horses we have so not even sure ifwe will be able to afford livery for a pony, will have to speak to yard owner and see how much it'd be first.
Sounds good. Just don't get sucked into the whole PC mentality of this horse isn't good/big/fast enough we must get another! Ours is very much 'professional' PC. It does my head in! We have a yard full of PC rejects!
How old is she? Pony club round here tends to be small beginners, then older more experienced riders. It's worth checking out your local one because If dd is older she might not enjoy being with much younger children. Preferable round here is the local riding club. Much more laid back and mixed ages and abilities.
I've been offered a loan pony for her and all the pony club bits happen at our yard so we wouldn't need to box anywhere. She is a total beginner though. Would they expect them to be totally competent? I really think she would benefit from being around children her own age. Just not sure I can justify the coat of a pony at livery..