If you have to stay at home, but all you want to do is give your fave pony a cuddle or head out on a fun hack with friends, it’s super-frustrating! But even if you can’t make it to the yard, you can still fill your days with loads of awesome pony fun!
You’ll have more ponies in your life than you can possibly imagine if you make them yourself! Take a look online (or in past issues of PONY mag) for pony-themed craft ideas. There are so many, they’ll keep you going all summer long! To get you started, how about making a super-cute pen pot or an adorable, cuddly cushion?
Create a work of art
Capture just how beautiful your fave pony is by painting or drawing him. Whether you use watercolours, oil paints, colouring pens or just opt for a simple pencil sketch, it’s sure to look so awesome it’ll take pride of place on your wall! Plus, it means your pony will be with you all the time. Make it even more special by using a canvas, or create a sculpture out of clay instead!
Anyone can draw a pony! See our step-by step guide here.
Visit your pony virtually
Can’t get to the yard, but a friend can? Then ask them to video chat with you while they’re there, so you can still say hi to your fave pony! He’s sure to feel reassured by hearing your voice, too! Don’t forget to return the favour for your friend if there’s a time they can’t make it to the stables, such as if they’re away on holiday.
Challenge yourself to come up with some tasty treats that would impress the Bake Off judges – pony-themed ones, obvs! From cute cupcakes to easy choccy treats, there are loads of great ideas to try. Or come up with your own recipe and bake a totally unique creation!
As well as making goodies for yourself, you could create some yummy treats for your pony, too. This’ll make him love you even more when you do go back to the yard! Make sure you only use pony-friendly ingredients, though!
Read a book
If you can’t ride or make it to the yard, the next best thing is curling up in a comfy chair with a horsey novel. Got loads of time to fill this summer? Then choose an exciting series, such as Amber’s Pony Tales, Pony Club Secrets, Valegro’s Blueberry Stories, The Palomino Pony books or The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop trilogy. For some awesome inspo, check out PONY mag’s book club – there’s an epic new title added every month.
Have you read an awesome pony book? Why not write a review and send it in to PONY? Email [email protected]
Write a story
Let your imagination run wild and write your very own pony story! You could make your fave pony the star, or even write about a celeb horse you really admire! To help get you started, check out Clare Balding’s top tips for budding writers in the PONY Book Club! When you’ve finished your story, why not share it with your friends, or even send it to PONY mag?
Create a memory box or scrapbook
This is a super-cute way to celebrate just how awesome your fave pony is, and the amazing journey you’ve been on together! Select some things that mean a lot to you, such as photos, rosettes, show schedules, dressage score sheets and a lock of his mane or tail and keep them all together. You could even compile a list of his likes and dislikes to include, or write a special poem about him!
Watch a movie
Some of the best films ever made have horses as the stars, so grab a bag of popcorn and press play! Our top picks are Black Beauty, National Velvet, War Horse, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Flicka. You could even revisit some Disney classics, too, where horses steal the show. Maximus is the star of Tangled, right?
Before you start watching any film or TV show, check with a parent that it’s suitable for you to watch.
Grow your pony a treat
Imagine being able to feed your fave pony carrots that you’ve grown yourself! Planting seeds is so much fun, and it’ll be super-exciting to watch them grow. You may even find that gardening becomes a new hobby! May and June are the perfect time to plant carrots so, if you don’t have any seeds at home, order some online.
Learn from PRO riders
You can still improve your riding from the sofa! Just check out some cool training vids by your fave riders. There’s loads available under Pony TV, including awesome jumping and flatwork tips from Mary King! Why not watch the vids, then make a note of all the exercises and ideas that you want to try when you get back to the yard!
Watch the greatest horsey moments
While you’re looking for vids of top riders, why not hunt out clips that capture the most amazing horsey moments ever! Get family and friends involved by asking them to share their fave memories, then compile a top 10. Your list might include Valegro’s emotional retirement ceremony at Olympia, Mark Todd completing the Badminton cross-country course with one stirrup, or fellow eventer Andrew Nicholson defying gravity by recovering from an in-the-saddle handstand at Burghley. Maybe you’ll think showjumper Nick Skelton setting a high jump record when he cleared 2.32m is the most awesome thing ever!
Catch up on your fave TV show
You might have to stay indoors, but switch on an episode of Heartland and you’ll feel like you’re in the mountains of Canada, riding cowboy style and helping Amy solve pony probs! Free Rein’s another popular show you may have missed out on – or just watch it all over again! Then message your mates to find out which FR pony’s their fave! Will it be Bob, Raven, Firefly or Elvis?
You can buy Heartland series 1-13 on DVD from the PONY shop
Did you know?
Celine Buckens, who plays Mia in Free Rein, also starred in the film War Horse. Why not watch it and see if you can spot her?
Design your dream yard
If you’re feeling super-creative, why not design your ideal yard on a big sheet of paper? You can mark out where the stables, arenas and paddocks would go, and don’t forget to leave room for the cross-country course and gallop track! The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild! When you’re finished, make a log book of all the ponies you’ll have there, sketching them and noting down their name, colour, height, age, breed and fave discipline. It’ll feel like you’re really there!
Have fun with your friends at the same time as boosting your pony knowledge by holding a virtual quiz! You could email them the questions, or quiz them via video messaging to make sure there’s absolutely no cheating going on! You and your mates could even take it in turns to come up with a pony puzzle or brain teaser each day. As well as pony questions, you could challenge each other to solve anagrams, odd ones out and wordsearches!
Have a virtual riding lesson
Maybe you can’t have a lesson today, but why not dig out some recent vids of you riding your fave pony and send them to your instructor? They can watch the films and give you some useful advice to help you improve. They might be able to suggest some exercises you can try when you’re back in the saddle, too.
Enter an online show
Got any vids of you riding through a dressage test at home, or some pix of your fave pony looking stunning? Then why not enter them into an online show? There are loads of dressage and showing comps that you can enter without even going to the yard, which means you can still get the buzz of competing and have the chance of winning a rosette!
Try garden dressage
Clear a space in your living room or garden to create your very own dressage arena! Draw or print out the letters, then have a go at ‘riding’ through a test on foot! You could even come up with your very own test, and include loads of fancy moves like piaffe and half-pass! You can make it even more awesome by listening to some of your fave pop songs, and setting your routine to music. Dare you let someone video you, then share it with friends?
Upcycle empty plastic bottles or supplement tubs into garden dressage markers! Fill them with water or sand to weigh them down, then draw or paint on a letter.
Even if you can’t ride your pony right now, or get out to shows, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some epic things together soon. Write up a dream list of stuff that you want to try one day, whether that’s exploring a new hacking route with friends or taking your pony to the beach, then you can plan how you’re going to crack each one!
Dig out some pix and make a vision board to pin up on your wall, to help you keep your goals firmly in mind!
Do some extra chores
Hoovering, washing-up and mowing the lawn may not sound pony-related, but they’ll earn you useful brownie points that you should be able to trade for pony time later on! Think extra trips to the yard, or a place on the pony day you’ve been dreaming about!
Message the PONY Team
Don’t be shy – get in touch! We love hearing from you, so why not tell us all about your fave pony, send us an awesome drawing or painting, or task us with finding a solution to a pony prob? You can e-mail us, or message us via Insta or Facebook.