This article is part of our “Rookies Horsing Around” series, guest authored by Emily and Sarah Harris of Sisters Horsing Around.
Pony Club Camp is a wonderful experience, but if you plan to bring your horsey best friend along, you need to be prepared. Camp is a great way for you to get lots of instruction, have loads of fun, and spend time with your friends. In a separate post we talked about what to pack for yourself when going to Pony Club Camp.
In this article, we will be covering what to bring for your horse. SO LET’S DIG IN!
Packing for your Horse
After you have gotten together all of your items for yourself, it’s time to pack for your best friend. When packing for your horse, it is crucial that you don’t forget anything. It’s not easy to pick up essentials for a horse as it is for a human while away from home.
- Supplements (if needed)
- Salt block
- Salt block holder
- Feed dish
- Hay net
- Water bucket(s)
- Scale to measure grain
- Feed scoop
- Coggins and health records
- Medications (if applicable)
- Grooming kit (dandy brush, body brush, hoof pick, mane and tail brush, curry comb, rag, etc.)
- Wash bucket
- Bathing supplies (shampoo, conditioner, sweat scraper, sponges, etc)
- Shipping boots
- Fly spray
- Fly mask
- Fly sheet
- Stall shavings (if needed)
- Stall card
- Standing wraps
- Muck tools (shovel, manure fork, broom)
- Muck bucket
- Turnout sheet
Horse Tack and Equipment
- Breakaway halter
- Lead rope
- Bridle or headstall
- Fly veils (if needed)
- Saddle pads or saddle blankets
- Girth or cinch
- Boots (bell boots, sport boots, splint boots etc.)
- Polo wraps
- Longe whip
- Longe line
- Tack cleaning kit
- Leather hole punch, to make tack hole adjustments
Pro Packing Tips
Just like packing for yourself, there are a lot of items to prepare when packing for your horse. When packing grain, either pack a large tub of grain or do pre-made lunch bags with the right amount for each meal.
When packing hay, square bales are the easiest to transport. Bring enough hay according to how much your horse eats. And as always, bring one extra bale just in case something unexpected happens.
It is better to have more than enough feed than to not have enough.
Plan according to the weather and temperature. If it is hot, bring fly gear and turnout sheets. If the weather turns cooler or it rains, bring a lightweight blanket and a cooler. Bring lunging equipment, just in case, for training reasons.
Pony Club is known for emphasizing leaving things and places cleaner than it originally was. So, muck tools are very, very important and should never be overlooked—unless the facility will provide them for you.
Be sure to double check to make sure that you have all your tack.
Forgetting things like a girth or bridle or even your saddle can really be a problem, especially since these are generally items sized to your horse. To let the good-times roll, always double check to make sure you have what you need!
Also, it is very important that you make sure your halter is a breakaway halter. This is one of the things that Pony Club is strict about because the safety of your horse is always a priority. If the horse’s halter gets caught on anything, a breakaway halter will break and the horse’s head will be freed. It is also wise to bring an extra breakaway halter along with extra leather halter crown pieces and/or breakaway loops. You never know when your halter might break in an unexpected way.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I borrow a friend’s horse or use the facility’s horse, do I need to bring my own tack?
That really all depends on the situation. If it is the facility’s horse, then you use the tack that is assigned to that horse. The advantage to this option for camp is that you won’t have to pack anything for a horse, and you get the opportunity to ride a different horse than you are used to.
But if you are taking a friend’s horse or even your trainer’s horse, that will also depend on them. You will have to pack things that that particular horse is used, too. Your friend or trainer may allow you to use their horse’s tack, or they may check the fit of your tack on their horse to see if it will fit, or you may even be able to use a combination of their tack with your tack.
Whatever it is, make sure that your friend or trainer is comfortable with what you will be using with their horse. And don’t forget to thank them and treat their horse well!
What should I expect to happen at Pony Club Camp?
This really all depends on the club. There will generally be mounted instruction, unmounted instruction, and fun team building activities. Some clubs take a more relaxed approach, while other clubs take a more strict approach.
Some clubs might treat it like a rally and have someone checking your horse management all the time. It really all depends. Check with your club about what you should do to prepare for things like this.
Do I have to be certified to attend camp?
Not at all! Camp is a good place to get lots of instruction all at once and learn the Pony Club way of doing things, which makes it a great opportunity for uncertified members. Sometimes the club or region will host a certification during the camp for those who haven’t certified yet.
Once you’ve packed for yourself and your horse, get ready for some fun times at Pony Club Camp. Talk to some older, more experienced Pony Club Members so that they can help guide you along the way. We cannot stress enough how much you need to double check your things. But just remember to relax, pack well, and most importantly have FUN!
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