US Pony Club chapter to hold open house Sunday afternoon

The club focuses on riding, tricks, jumping and horse management, among other skills.

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WALLA WALLA -- There is a lot of work and training involved in becoming a good horseperson, as a recent riding lesson for the members of the Walla Walla chapter of the U.S. Pony Club showed.

Throughout the lesson, instructor Patricia Prince gave club members Adam Lascheid, Alanna Pritchett, Michaela Nordheim, Bethanie Cooper, Ava Bronstein and Shonee Turner, firm yet gentle guidance on how to improve their riding technique. Lessons began with a warm-up then transitioned to more in-depth training and ended with a salute. Although the lessons have many group components, Prince took one or two riders aside throughout the two hour lesson to give more individualized instruction.

While the lesson was in session, club members' parents were busy repainting the horse jumps that will be used for the club's open house on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at the indoor arena of Maxson Box Stables, 524 Last Chance Road.

The flier provided by WWPC District Commissioner Lori Pritchett says that the open house will feature a stadium jumping demonstration by club members and instructor Desiree Johnson. "We will round up a few of us Pony Clubbers to show what we have learned from being in Pony Club by doing a few neat pony tricks," reads the flier.

Pritchett said that the open house is an opportunity to see what Pony Club is about. "There will be information about the club and those who come get to watch an actual jumping lesson," she said.

Before stepping into the arena, Prince said she likes Pony Club because it is both a group and team effort. When members go to competitive rallies, their parents are not allowed to help. Members have to learn to do things on their own and learn to rely on each other for support. Prince also mentioned that members make long-lasting friendships and also learn life lessons along the way.

When asked what separates WWPC from other equestrian groups, Pritchett said the horse management program makes Pony Club unique. According to the USPC Membership Guide, the program is designed to teach skills and provide knowledge as members progress through the ratings in accordance with the USPC standards of proficiency.

For more information, contact Pritchett at lcp02dmv@yahoo.com or go to www.ponyclub.org.

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