Authors: Kelly McKain
For Tom, with huge thanks for all your wonderful work on Pony Camp xx
With special thanks to our cover stars, Hannah and Mac, pony guru Janet Rising and our fab photographer, Zoe Cannon.
THIS DIARY BELONGS TO
A warm welcome to Sunnyside Stables!
Sunnyside is our home and for the next week it will be yours, too! My husband Johnny and I have two children, Millie and James, plus two dogs … and all the ponies, of course!
We have friendly yard staff and a very talented instructor, Sally, to help you get the most out of your week. If you have any worries or questions about anything at all, just ask. We’re here to help, and we want your holiday to be as enjoyable as possible – so don’t be shy!
As you know, you will have a pony to look after as your own for the week. Your pony can’t wait to meet you and start having fun! During your stay, you’ll be caring for your pony, improving your riding, learning new skills and making new friends. And this week we’re off to the Dorset County Show, where you’ll see some fabulous dressage and lots of exciting stalls and displays. Add swimming, games and films, and you’re in for a fun-filled holiday to remember!
This special Pony Camp Diary is for you to fill with your holiday memories. We hope you’ll write all about your adventures here at Sunnyside Stables – because we know you’re going to have lots!
Wishing you a wonderful time with us!
Us girls are sitting on the benches outside the farmhouse in the sunshine, and we've all decided to start our diaries at the same time! It's been fantastic here so far â I've met all these fab girls, been given a brilliant pony and we've had our first riding lesson. Wow! I've just realized that I've got loads to say so I'll try writing really quickly!
By the time me and Mum got here most of the other girls had already arrived and unpacked their stuff. Mum had to rush straight off again 'cos she'd left my three smelly brothers in the car, so Jody (who runs Pony Camp) showed me up to my room. All the way up the stairs I was babbling on about how I'd specially chosen to come this week because there's a chance to
do dressage. I've done a few tests at shows near where I live on Fizz or Gregory, the ponies I ride at my local stables, and I'm really excited about learning more. And it's great 'cos some of the girls here are as dressage mad as me! My horsy friends back home are crazy on showjumping instead, so I don't normally get to talk about dressage that much.
When me and Jody got up to the room, the top bunk was already bagsied by a girl called Arabella, so I took the bottom one. The messy bed by the window turned out to be Jody's daughter Millie's. She's really nice â in fact, everyone here is.
After we'd said our names, Arabella was like, “Well, the girls in the oldest room all came together and Millie'll be riding in the other group 'cos she's not into dressage, so
have to be my friend.” I couldn't
work out if she was joking or not, but she just smiled and put her arm through mine and we went down to the yard together. That's where we met the other girls, and we were all saying hi and telling each other what riding we've done and that kind of thing.
After Sally showed us round the yard and gave us a safety talk it was time to meet our ponies. We all stood in the yard feeling really excited as Lydia the stable girl brought them out one by one and helped us mount up. Sally said usually we would have an assessment lesson to work out which groups we'll be in, but this week we don't need one 'cos there'll just be a dressage group and a normal group.
The dressage group (Group B) is:
, age 12, who's Spanish, with
, also 12, who's half German and is Paula's best friend, with
, Leonie's younger sister, who's 10 like me, with
, also 10, with
, her own pony (who's a sweet Arab mare with a cute snip on her nose) â how lucky is that!
, and (drum roll please!) the most gorgeous, cute pony I have ever seen, my lovely
I couldn't believe my luck when Sally said he was for me. My LUCK in getting LUCKY â hee hee! He's beautiful â a 10-year-old 14hh blue roan cob with this cascading flowing mane, cute clumpy feet and
most beautiful eyes.
Arabella said, “Oh dear, Lauren, don't you think he's a bit clumpy for dressage?” But I just pointed out how well Charlotte Dujardin does on Valegro, who's a heavier build, and Stephanie Croxford with Mr President, who the crowd absolutely LOVE. Arabella looked a bit surprised and muttered, “Fair point.”
I gave Lucky an extra pat just in case he knew she was not being that nice about him.
As I said, Millie's riding with Group A, 'cos she reckons her pony Tally doesn't exactly get the concept of dressage and is only really happy when he's dragging her through a hedge!
The others in Group A are: