Walla Walla Pony Club members put through paces at open house

The Walla Walla Pony Club had a demonstration and question-and-answer session at stables in Walla Walla over the weekend.

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Walla Walla Pony Club members showed off their riding and jumping skills during a recent club open house.

A small crowd of parents and children came to Maxon Box Stables on Sunday for the Walla Walla Pony Club's open house.

The demonstration began with a short introduction by Lori Pritchet, district commissioner for the club. She explained that before riders are allowed to ride their horses in the arena, they must go through an equipment safety check. Before turning the demonstration over to instructor Desiree Johnson, Pritchett encouraged open house attendees to ask questions.

Two groups of club members participated in the open house. The first group included Adam Lascheid, Alanna Pritchett and Hannah Gehling.

The second hour featured Bethanie Cooper, Shonee Turner and Rianna Bird's stadium jumping skills.

While the first group was in the arena, the sound of several voices asking questions and giving answers could be heard in the background. The children who came watched intently from behind the PVC railing in front of the seating area while Lascheid, Alanna Pritchett and Gehling were in the arena.

During the second group's warmup, Johnson encouraged riders to practice transitions between walking and trotting.

She emphasized that riders should "listen to their horse."

As each rider took a turn, Johnson carefully observed how riders handled their horses and gave individual instruction for how to improve their riding skills.

Outside the arena building, attendees could enjoy cookies and hot beverages while perusing the posters, scrapbooks created by WWPC members and a video of the WWPC members at the USPC finals at Auburn, Wash., in August.

Johnson has been a club instructor for a year and a half and said she likes passing her knowledge on to others.

"I don't like keeping it all (to myself). I like sharing what others have shared with me," Johnson said.

For more information about WWPC, contact Lori Pritchett at lcp02dvm@yahoo.com or visit www.ponyclub.org.

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