FOUR DAY CLINIC AT BEALIBA PONY CLUB
The Bealiba & District Pony Club recently held a four day Instruction Clinic at their grounds during the school holidays. A total of 45 riders making up five groups, participated in the program that offered an “Olden Days” theme. Saturday night clinic participants and their parents gathered for a “Welcoming Casserole Tea”. Sunday morning saw riders participate in Show Jumping, Dressage, Polocrosse plus an unmounted lesson of “Old Fashioned Games”, this lesson showed participants how to play jacks, marbles, hopscotch, skipping and work with a yoyo. Sunday night’s entertainment was a spit roast meal; this was followed by a demonstration of old-fashioned toys and gramophone music, supplied by our special guests Allan and Anne Comley.
Monday morning riders saddled up for lessons in show jumping and dressage plus a lesson in cross country, where riders were eager to try out the new cross-country jumps. The unmounted lesson was leatherwork. John Kercher from St. Arnaud set up his machinery allowing each participant to have a go at hand sewing some leather. While some showed a natural talent for stitching leather, others found it difficult, therefore appreciating the workmanship that goes into making their bridles & saddles.
Mrs. Joan Cook from Bealiba was invited to demonstrate the art of spinning wool. Joan sat at the wheel taking time to explain how the fleece was spun into wool, which could be made into a variety of garments. Some onlookers were given the opportunity of having a go at spinning while others were happy to watch them do it.
Special guests for the day were four residents from the Maryborough Nursing Home, Sylvia Garton, Jack Biship, David Jamieson and Bill Akers who travelled to Bealiba by bus, they were able to observe riders as they participated in each activity. While some of these residents had grown up with horses they enjoyed watching riders aged from 5 years upwards as they rode their horses through the water jump on the cross country.
Our guests enjoyed lunch and spent time chatting to parents and interested onlookers about the Pony Club and the local area.
As a campfire was stoked with wood to create hot coals, Philip Bulger demonstrated cooking damper and pumpkin scones using camp ovens. This was an extremely popular activity with onlookers gathering to taste the goods as soon as they were taken out of the oven. Phillips secret recipes and his knack of cooking super damper and scones was a huge success.
Tuesday’s program only consisted of a showjumping lesson and combined drill work. The top three groups formed one lesson for drill while the younger riders formed the second group. Rosemary Harris spent time with the riders practicing special movements before they put it all together to perform a magnificent display of drill work. The ride included diagonal crossovers, finger crossings, with the senior riders performing linking circles at the canter, a magnificent display of 24 riders in the senior group to show wonderful control and thought for each other.
Our younger riders are also to be congratulated on their ride which was also of a very high quality, this type of lesson teaches riders to become thinking riders, allowing them to work out distance, speed and consideration of others. The mounted police and military groups demonstrate drill work or troup rides where large groups of horses are involved.
The highlight of Tuesday’s activities was the arrival of a luxury coach to transport clinic participants and family to Ballarat where a B.B.Q. tea was enjoyed at Sovereign Hill before viewing “Blood on the Southern Cross”, a multi million-dollar re-enactment of the Eureka Stockade.
On day four of the clinic the showjumping lesson consisted of a showjumping course under the watchful eye of Instructor Allan Mitchell. Allan was delighted to be able to work with riders for four consecutive days allowing him to sort out any problems that arose. The riding standard was extremely high with a few riders showing that they are capable of moving to a higher showjumping grades.
Rosemary Harris instructed Dressage with riders thoroughly enjoying her lessons. Rosemary’s excellent communication skills and understanding of what she is teaching allows participants of all ages and levels to learn new skills and understand the reason for asking for particular movements.
Richard Glenn instructed a lesson in Active Riding. This lesson was extremely popular with riders successfully bursting balloons as they rode past at various speeds. A lemon race, which required riders to ride to a certain point, dismount and kneel with their hands behind their backs before biting into a lemon that was floating in water. Riders then mounted their horses and rode over the finish line with the lemon in their mouths.
A three-legged sack rack, where two riders leading their horses both had one leg in a sack running to the finish line created a good competition between riders. The mug race and a small obstacle course were also popular.
Veronica Palmer taught clinic participants the art of candle making. Once shown how to make candles each person made their own, finishing it off with the decoration of their choice.
As a memento of the four day clinic, each participant was given a small calico bag with a draw string, each bag was labelled with the date and participants name and on the back was a game drawn for naughts and crosses. Inside the bag were eight flat glass stones, four of each colour to play naughts and crosses and ten marbles.
While this was the first four-day clinic held by our club it proved a huge success with instructors and participants agreeing that the program and variety of instruction allowed riders the opportunity to work on their skills. The unmounted activities and the bus trip topped off what can only be described as an amazing four days.