Members of the Ochlockonee River Pony Club are a regular sight at Red Hills on the final day of competition. Usually staged in several locations outside of the show jumping arena, these volunteers take responsibility for replacing any downed poles and righting any other part of a jump structure that is knocked out of alignment by an equine competitor. Similar to the retrievers of tennis balls during competitive matches, they are quick to their feet and back to their seats before the next competitor enters the arena.
Part of the U.S. Pony Clubs structure, members are taught the sport of riding, but the club also places emphasis on horse management and safety. Pony Clubbers spend a considerable amount of time learning about nutrition, shoeing, and veterinary care. They learn to monitor a horse’s well-being through its temperature, pulse and respiration rates. Grooming, trailering safety, stable manners, mucking, and equine first aid are also part of the lesson plan.
Many thanks to the Ochlockonee River Pony Club for keeping Red Hills running smoothly on a Sunday in March.
Photo by Shems Hamilton Photography