Yes, children can come along who have never ridden before. Each child will be assessed and grouped according to his/her age, experience and skills. Our best success stories have come from children who have never ridden before but after a camp are trotting and independent from a lead rein assistant.
Star Equestrian venues provide on-site toilet facilities for use during the events. As part of our safety rules, we ensure that all children wash their hands after visiting the toilet, and we encourage all children to visit the toilet prior to their lessons/ activities to minimise interruptions.
No you don’t need your own pony, but at Star Equestrian we do promote children becoming members of their local pony club and some of our clients have their own ponies. We have a number of our own ponies E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or simply book a pony-matching session. Our ponies are endorsed by our quality and assurance standards riding coach and are always booked up very quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.
A pony-matching session can be booked online for £30. We will assess your child’s ability and confidence – and that of the chosen pony. It may be that your child is too small or too tall for some of our ponies, and the pony-matching service allows us to advise accordingly.
Before departing the Camp, you will assist your group leader and make sure that your pony has been given hay and water. Your pony will then be checked on at 10pm and again at 7am the next morning. Each pony is provided with a small grass paddock. Please make sure you bring your pony’s passport and that his/her flu vaccinations are up to date.
Unfortunately, this can’t be guaranteed unless you book the pony well in advance of the next Camp, as there is always a lot of interest in our ponies.
At Star Equestrian, we will encourage your child to look after his/her own pony – but under the close supervision of a Camp Volunteer and Coach. Your child will never be left to struggle alone. It is important that if you come in the morning to watch your child and stay for a short period, you do not do anything for your child and pony (other than tie the pony up), as this does not allow our coaches to assess your child’s knowledge of the tack and how able they are on their own. It’s amazing how quickly they learn when they work alongside other children who are motivated and independent.
We provide a Kit List of what children should wear to Camp, and what is required for their pony. This will be sent to you following your booking. Jodhpurs are preferable for riding, and arriving with all weathers in mind is essential for our Scottish climate. You must wear a riding hat and riding boots for safety reasons.
It is essential that all children arrive with the correct riding hat (see Kit List for details). Riding hats can be purchased at any local store, such as McCash’s Country Store in Perth ( www.mccash.uk.com ) or indeed any of the online equestrian sites, e.g. Shires ( www.shiresequestrian.com ). Please ensure that your child’s riding hat meets the minimum standard. The current BHS-recognised standards are EN1384:1996 with CE mark, BSEN1384:1997 with CE mark, PAS015:2011 with BSI kitemark, ASTM F1163:2004a with SEI mark, E2001 with Snell certification label and AS/NZ 3838:2006 with SAI global mark. We appreciate that this might seem like a whole load of technical terms! Ideally your childs riding had will have the ‘kite’ symbol for easy recognition of quality assurance. Please see the British Horse Society for more information. Unfortunately, due to the risk that this sport poses, we cannot allow anyone to ride without the above standard of riding hat, and we are not able to lend riding hats.
We apologise for the technical aspect to riding hats, the standards are updated and evaluated and adapted every 2 years (this is not to say your child’s hat will be out of date in 2 years). Any registered tack store with qualified staff will be able to advise and correctly fit a hat for your child.
Star Equestrian launched their Equestrian Camps in February 2014 after holding successful pilots in the summer of 2013, and these have proved very successful with both children and parents alike.
One parent commented: “My daughter, aged 6, has had a fabulous experience at the camps. She was so excited to bring home her ‘look what I can do’ sheet to tell me all the progress she had made – not just in riding but also in caring for her pony. Personally, I find the flexible hours of the camps really do cater for working mums, which is such a refreshing change! Mags is an excellent instructor and Kirsty has gained in confidence rapidly. Often pony camps cater for older children, so it is wonderful to have the Star Camps available for little ones. Looking forward to the next one!’
Children should be five years old before they come to our 3-day camps. However, our ‘Pat and Play’ sessions offer pony activities for children aged three years upwards. We are focused on providing educational equestrian experiences for the 3 to 10-year-old age group.
No … parents don’t need to stay, as the children will be supervised at all times by Star Equestrian staff during the day. For some parents this may be difficult, but we would like you to think of us more as a school and have confidence in the education programme we have designed. It is important to us that the children are safe, happy and learning. Our experience as primary school teachers recognises that parents can be a distraction and lead to children being less independent. It is a good idea, however, for you to join us at the end of the day for feedback and to encourage your child to share news of his/her day.
Residential camping facilities are venue specific due to licences and availability of accommodation; we will provide further details once availability has been confirmed.
Payment is made at the time of booking, prior to the camp, activity day or coaching session ONLINE. Please be aware that places cannot be guaranteed until payment has been received. Our group numbers are limited therefore it can not guarantee that your child will be given a place unless an online payment via our website is made where the available places are shown.
To allow flexibility for working parents, children can be dropped off any time from 8am–10am and collected any time from 4pm–6pm. We appreciate that holidays pose a real juggle for many of our parents who are busy working, so this service is very popular! Make sure you speak to the adult assigned to the early drop-off so that we can register your child and make sure we have the necessary documents in place.
It is possible for parents to stay and watch; however, our experience of teaching children is that they advance more quickly in their confidence and skills when they are focused on their learning, and not distracted. There will be an opportunity on the final day of Camp for parents to come along for an hour to watch their child and see how he/she has progressed.
Children will be given a healthy snack of fruit and a drink. However, a pack lunch must be provided by the parent. Should you wish your child to have a specific snack and/or drink please ensure you child arrives with said items and staff have been informed prior.
This will depend on your child’s skills and experience for the learning part of the Camp, but there is also plenty of time for children to socialise with their friends during lunch and breaks.
All venues are different, some with indoor arenas for bad weather. However, we ensure there is a warm indoor classroom for the children if the weather is wet. However, we do ride even if it is raining, so make sure your child comes with water proofs that fit. We have lots of activities that are great fun in the rain, and only in torrential conditions do we run for cover and do some fun un-mounted games in the adjacent buildings.
Every camp offers new and stimulating programmes to keep Star Equestrian learners interested and motivated. Different venues also offer one-day activity days such as polo, show jumping and cross country to keep our children learning and progressing.
There are strict Health and Safety guidelines in place which will prevent children from coming in contact with the working farm areas, and staff will ensure that these are adhered to at all times. We have a list of safety rules that all coaches strictly adhere to. The gates keep everyone contained within one area, and there is no vehicle access to these areas. The garden/ designated children area for lunches are breaks is also enclosed, away from farm activities, and very safe for lunch and break time play.
All coaches are required to be fully qualified First Aiders who have been trained through the British Horse Society or UKCC. We will ensure we have all emergency contact numbers available from parents should the need arise. Please make us aware of any known illnesses or allergies through our medical form prior to camp.