Owning a pony is every horse-mad kid's dream.
And for two young enthusiasts, that dream could become a reality with the help of Pointways Pony Club.
The Alfriston club is seeking applications for its adopt-a-pony scheme from riders aged between 8 and 12 with a passion for horses and a supportive family.
It is a year-long commitment for the recipients, who will each take care of one of the club's new ponies, as well as having the costs of the pony, grazing, club membership - which includes free lessons - waived.
Scheme co-ordinator Maree Turner says horse riding is not a cheap sport, with the estimated costs covered by the scheme including $4000 for the animal, $140 a month for grazing and $300 a year for a junior membership.
Turner says the scheme is a great opportunity for youngsters to see if riding is their thing and to see the commitment involved with owning a horse.
"It's a chance for a family to find out just what it takes to get involved in the sport, without a huge cost attached," she says.
The club's adoption scheme has been running since 1995 and Turner says she has seen children develop positively through the experience.
As well as learning how to nurture and care for an animal, recipients also gain a lot of confidence.
"You do have to step out of your comfort zone to manage a horse. There's a lot non-verbally that happens between a rider and a horse," Turner says.
Two ponies are available for adoption.
Bobby is an older pony best suited for a beginner rider and Benjamin Button is suited for someone confident and competent, who has been at riding school before and can manage the pony unaided.
Successful applicants will be responsible for the costs of worming, shoeing, vet treatments, riding attire and club uniform.
Applications must be in before August 16.
Contact Maree Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit pointwaysponyclub.co.nz for more information or to apply.
- Papakura Courier
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