A SPECTATOR’S VIEW
What was the atmosphere like?
It was very relaxed, it felt like a fun day out for everyone involved rather than a stressful competition. It was very friendly and everyone had the time to talk to each other, sharing tips and stories about their ponies.
What did you enjoy the most?
It was great to see some donkeys out and about, they looked lovely in their gear. It was very interesting to see how different people worked with their ponies in-hand, long-reining and driving to get them through the skills challenges – especially the scary carpet. There was a lot of patience and support shown by everyone and the judges gave competitors the time to gently coach their ponies to ensure they had positive experiences on anything that didn’t go to plan.
I couldn’t call the class winners as it was being judged on multiple factors from turnout to handling as well as performance, but it was lovely to see people’s faces when they did better than they thought they might have.
Will you come again?
Absolutely, it was a great day, i will be throwing my hat in the ring to steward at an event too, it would be good to support these events that are great to help young or nervous ponies come on. I’m also interested in giving some long-reining a go with my own riding pony, it looked like so much fun, something different and a nice challenge for us!