Lion Country Pony Club, located in State College, PA, hosts an amazing and very educational summer camp every year! This year, LCPC was lucky enough to have TWO Rolex (and former Pony Clubbers!) riders Allie Sacksen and Kate Chadderton to teach lessons to our older Horse Masters, our upper level members, and our younger members.
I had the chance to pull Allie and Kate to the side to see what they had to say about Pony Club and how it has helped them to get to where they are today.
EN: What’s your favorite thing about Pony Club?
Allie: My favorite thing about Pony Club is that it gives all kids opportunities to experience many different disciplines and all walks of life to be part of the horse world. It’s a fun way to learn about horses!
Kate: My favorite thing about Pony Club is the values that it gives kids with respect to how they treat their horses and that riding is not just riding but also taking care of the horse. Pony Club teaches kids to become horsemen. Through Pony Club, kids spend as much, or more, time on the ground working with their horses than they do actually on their horse. Pony Club also creates an awesome group energy.
EN: What was your experience in Pony Club?
Allie: I started in Pony Club when I was five and rated to my ‘A’ rating when I was eighteen. Pony Club was part of my whole childhood and gave me opportunities to ride and learn that I would not have had otherwise.
Kate: I went to Pony Club meetings and lessons out in the country in Australia. We did a lot of mounted games and show jumping and we learned so much about the basics of horsemanship and developing a relationship with our horse.
I didn’t have a trailer, so I would ride two hours to Pony Club and then two hours back! My experience in Pony Club was an independent and intense one with just me and my horse. It taught me to become a better rounded horse person.
EN: How has Pony Club affected your career?
Allie: Pony Club was the base of my career. I grew up in Pony Club and it gave me opportunities for instruction that allowed me to grow as a rider and a person that led to my future as a professional.
Kate: Pony Club gave me a springboard to learn that I wanted to ride as a career. I grew to understand how to interact with people and I learned to recognize strengths and weaknesses of horses — what makes them good for a sport or not.
EN: What is your favorite thing about teaching at a camp? What is the hardest thing about teaching at a camp?
Allie: I’ve been an instructor at Lion Country Pony Club camp for 8 years. My favorite thing is being able to watch kids grow from up/downers to almost starting their own careers. The hardest thing is the weather! It was very hot this year, but we always work hard to make it safe and fun for the kids and the horses.
Kate: My favorite thing about the camp is that it’s fun! It’s fun to teach and I love to meet everyone. I like to see people and their relationships with their horses and helping them further that connection.
Since the camp is only a few days, we can’t change everything, but I can give pointers to help that will hopefully make them think and understand their horse on a deeper level. I don’t have a good answer for what’s the hardest thing! I love everything about teaching.
A big thank you to Allie and Kate for the wonderful instruction. We’re already looking forward to LCPC Camp 2016!