After an almost 20 year hiatus, the Alberta South Region of the Canadian Pony Club hosted an ABC Camp at the Millarville Racing and Ag Society grounds during the first week in August.
The ABC Camp is an Equestrian Camp geared towards young riders who have obtained the higher levels in Pony Club. All members join at an “E” level and through a series of written, practical and riding exams work their way through the ranks. Currently there are 9 levels in the Canadian program, and all riders who attended had to have made their way through at least a third of those levels with many riding well beyond that stage.
The ABC Camp was designed to be a highly intensive week – well beyond your average summer riding camp. The kids were inundated with information surrounding stable management, equine care, high level riding and a little bit of exposure to power tools just to keep things interesting. We were fortunate to have coaches from around the region and beyond to teach the kids.
Emily Harris, an A Level Pony Clubber from Calgary joined us to work with the kids on their bandaging, first aid and conditioning programs for their equine partners. Marshall Isles, International Farrier Hall of Fame inductee, joined us for an afternoon to discuss conformation, shoeing techniques and internal foot structure. As an added bonus he brought along the latest in educational tools – a bionic leg that the kids could actually trim and shoe.
Dagmar Fortmuller, a local, high level dressage coach, worked with the kids on their lunging techniques, both on and off their horses. Sloane Hammond travelled all the way from BC to work with the riders on their dressage seats and techniques. Regional coaches, Wendy Agate and Kathy Marston coached the kids both on stadium and cross country jumping courses. Black Diamond Land and Cattle Company was kind enough to allow the use of their Cross Country Course with the kids – a real treat as the course has been officially closed to the public for quite some time. Their generosity was so appreciated.
~ Millarville Racing & Ag Society