Have unbridled fun at pony club without your own horse
HAVE you always wanted to try your hand at pony club but been unable to afford a horse? Well, you're now in luck.
Pony Club Australia's new No Pony, No Problem program allows both children and adults to enjoy the experience of pony club without the full-time responsibility of owning a horse.
And now there is an accredited riding school right here on the Northern Rivers.
Horsetalk Riding School owners Steven Clibborn and Joyce Corbett said as soon as they heard about the all-ages, all experience levels program, they knew they wanted to be involved.
The pair run Horsetalk Riding Farm at Jiggi, near Lismore, where they already offer riding lessons to a range of ages and abilities.
"With pony club, you usually have to own or lease your own horse," Mr Clibborn said.
"But what this means is anyone, absolutely anyone, can come and do the pony club program, earn the pony club certification, all without having to own your own horse."
Ms Corbett said she was thrilled to be able to offer the program to people missing out on the joy of working with horses because they couldn't afford to own or lease one.
"It's very expensive, owning a horse," she said.
"But what we liked about this was you get to learn how to ride and learn all of those pony club skills, all without having to worry about all of those expenses of owning a horse."
She said the program was a "perfect fit" for what they were already teaching at Horsetalk.
"When we looked at the syllabus, we realised we were already teaching our students many of these skills," Ms Corbett said.
"But this is just much more structured and teaches a much wider range of skills than you can learn just by having a riding lesson."
As well as teaching participants how to ride, the module-based program also involves learning horse care, health and more advanced skills by using the riding school's horses.
The Jiggi property is one of only four accredited riding schools in NSW, with the others being in Sydney, Mandalong on the Central Coast and Maitland.
According to Pony Club Australia, so far the organisation has only accredited 13 riding schools across the country.
For more information on the No Pony, No Problem program or to enrol, phone Horsetalk Riding Farm on 6688 8044 or visit www.ponyclubaustralia.com.au