Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Not to Pony Club we go

So, as I start the Summer Holidays, daughter gets a job!

Yes, really.

Here's the story:

A year ago daughter joined The Pony Club:

and although it started well with a well-planned programme, working on achievement badges and fairly easy (for daughter) but disciplined riding lessons, it has deteriorated.

After Christmas the woman in charge stopped running Pony Club and handed over to two younger blokes, there wasn't much happening in Winter, or Spring, but we thought it would pick up in Summer.

It has got worse.

There is now no planning, no structure and the lessons are a shambles (no attention to detail, children shouting out, no discipline) and I'm worried about daughter picking up bad habits.

In twelve months she has achieved one badge (the Pony Club website shows 90 possible badges) and to add insult to injury they have increased the subscription from £15 this time last year, to £17, then £20 per week!

That's a 33% increase.  

Hands up who's had a 33% pay increase this year?

I thought not.

Although we tried to find out what badge she is working on and what plans they have for the summer (last summer they did the Tetrathlon Badge going shooting and swimming as well as riding), they were very defensive and clearly have no plans - and yet they are now charging £1000 a year for this?

Eventually we decided she had to leave.

Now, she joined Pony Club because she wanted to learn about looking after horses, so I had this brainwave that we ask at the stables where she has her riding lessons if they do any kind of stable management lessons for children.

Well, it turns out she can "work" at the stables during the holidays where they will teach her all about horses and for every 5 days she works she gets a free riding lesson.

Hang on........

..... so this costs us nothing and she gets some free lessons?

Where do we sign?

She starts tomorrow!


ADDY said...

But does that put a stop to your restful holiday lie-ins?

Working Mum said...

No, a day at the stables starts at 9.30am and we're up way before that. Also, she just works odd days when she wants. It does, however, give me eight hours of peace when she's there!

Mummy Cow said...

Win, win!

smallholdingsister said...

Great news! Very sorry to hear about your experiences. Was this a pony club centre - part of The British Pony Club, or just an unofficial one?

Poor show if it was part of the British Pony Club.

Another working pony club mum on the verge here! Loving your blog.


Working Mum said...

Hello Smallholdingsister, I'm afraid it is a branch of the British Pony Club. Daughter has to have membership and show it each week and has the official uniform an should be doing the badges. The original lady running it has now come back and I've had a talk with her about my disappointment and we're giving it one more chance. Fingers crossed it improves.

smallholdingsister said...

Fingers crossed that it does. It *might* be worth trying a branch rather than a are quite likely to find someone to lend a pony, and it sounds like its really expensive.
Hope her job starts and continues well. X