Summer Camp Dates
Summer Camps 2015 are now all fully booked. Don't miss out for next year.
Summer Camp 2016
July 18th - 22th
July 25th - 29th
August 1st- 5th
August 8th - 12th
August 15th - 19th
August 22nd - 26th
5 Day Camp, £475.00 all inclusive
3 Day Camp, £395.00 all inclusive
A non refundable deposit of £100.00 is necessary to secure your place. (After the 17th May payment in full is required for all bookings)
Our preferred method of payment is direct bank transfer. You can also pay by debit card, childcare vouchers or cheque. Please ensure you return the booking form when you make your payment.
Full non-refundable payment required by the 17th May 2016.
You can print your own booking form from the 'application form' link at the top of the page.
If you wish to change the week you have booked to another there will be a £15.00 administration charge.
We reserve the right to re-sell any space which has not been paid in full by the 17th May.
8.30 Pony Care Lesson.
9.00 Groom, plait, pamper and then tack up the ponies.
10.00 Activity (Horseball, Carriage Driving, Vaulting etc. etc depending on the day of the week)
11.00 MID MORNING BREAK
11.30 Whole group activity or informative talk from vet etc(or similar depending on day).
12.00 Riding Activity (Jumping, Cross Country, Hacking etc.)
2.00 Pony Care lesson/Practical (Rugging, Foal Handling, Video, Quiz, Lungeing, Preparing for a show etc)
3.00 Afternoon activity (Mounted Games, Western, Side-saddle etc)
4.00 AFTERNOON BREAK
4.30 Afternoon stables. Skip out, brush off, turn out horses.
5.00 Supervised free time to relax and make friends or play games
5.30 Swimming, games, Video, etc.
7.00 Supper (BARBEQUE on Thursday Evening)
8.00 Organised evening activities, campfire, disco etc until bedtime.
Children's Residential Riding Holidays
Riding Holidays for unaccompanied children aged 6 to 17, individuals or groups.
OFSTED Registered VC374742. Childcare Vouchers accepted.
A number of schools take part in our Activity Pony Camps. Some come for a day, but others for the whole week. It is possible to stay on site with school teachers, or come in daily. If you think it is something your school or youth group might like to do, then let them know about us!
For a really fun, action packed riding holiday experience, try a Valley Farm Summer Pony Camp.
We offer residential pony camps for 3 or 5 days for children during the summer holidays. Accomodation is in our wooden 'Wendy Houses' on site.
Every half term and holiday we offer activity days, from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Children can come and join in daily for as many days as they like, or children from further afield can stay overnight with their parents on our camping and caravan site or in our holiday lodge.
We aim to provide a well rounded, fun packed, educational experience in a safe environment, and we are sure you will enjoy yourself if you decide to join us this summer. Boys and girls have enjoyed Summer Pony Camps at Valley Farm since 1986 with many returning year after year.
Have a go at loads of horsey activities including Side saddle riding, Western Riding, Horseball, Polocrosse, Vaulting, Carriage Driving, Mounted Games, Showing, Show Jumping, Horse Care. Riding lessons and different horsey activities every day, as well as supervised games and swimming in our heated swimming pool.
Our holidays are based on the ideals of the Pony Club which are:
-To encourage young people to ride and learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with horses.
-To give instruction in riding and horsemastership and the proper care of animals
-To promote the highest standards of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty to create strength of character and self discipline.
N.B. Children do not need to be members of the pony club to join us for pony camp or activity days. Our Pony Camps are suitable for all including able-bodied and disabled children, please phone to discuss details if you have any concerns regarding your child's ability. We have a weight limit of 14 stone. We have a wide range of horses and ponies to suit riders of all abilities, but children are also welcome to bring their own pony if they wish.
The children are overseen at all times and assisted when necessary, but they are responsible for the care of their pony and themselves. They do their own washing up, make their own beds and arrive for each activity when the bell rings.
"Don't worry if you are a novice or have never ridden, our ponies have done it all before and will make you an expert in no time. We have arround 45 well trained horses to choose from so you are sure to find a suitable companion."
Children are split into groups according to age ability and where possible, the friends they ask to be with. For meals, breaks and the evening games and activities, such as ball games, campfire and disco the groups join together. During the day the groups rotate, so everyone has a go at every activity. The riding lessons are progressive throughout the week, and where possible we aim to keep children with the same pony so they can build a relationship with it. For the other equestrian activities, such as western, carriage driving, polo etc, we usually use one or two ponies who are trained for the specific activity. Children take turns on the ponies while the others assist or practice on the tin horses allowing for personalised instruction.
Each day includes a riding lesson, a practical lesson in some aspect of pony care, and various horse activities as listed below. Each activity lasts for about an hour. We do not aim to make anybody an expert in this time. We simply aim to provide the oportunity for children to try out loads of different equestrian sports, so they can get a feel for what the different sports are about and have fun while doing it.
- Riding - Progressive lessons every day in Indoor school or outside if weather permits.
- Vaulting - Gymnastic circus skills on horseback.
- Driving - Learn how to harness up and drive a single pony.
- Western - Discover the ease of western riding and how it differs from English.
- Horseball - "Basketball" on horseback.
- Side-Saddle - Chance to try this elegant style of riding.
- Polocrosse - Have a go at this exciting sport.
- Lungeing - Learn how to fit the equipment, how why and when you should lunge a pony, and then try it for yourself.
- Mounted Games - Team Games involving two patient ponies!!
- Pony Pamper - Whilst the ponies rest, children have the opportunity, to groom, quarter mark and plait them. Deck them in ribbons etc.
- Pony Care - Lectures and practical in Rugging, bandaging, grooming, or other subjects depending on the ability of the group.
- Natural Horsemanship - Learn how to read what your horse is thinking and how to communicate with him
- Jumping - Everything from trot poles, to course building and trying out our show jumps and cross country jumps, depending on your ability.
- Circus Skills - (co-ordination skills) Juggling, plate spinning, unicycling, rolla-bolla, etc.
- Videos - Choose from an extensive range of horsey videos.
- Roping - Learn the art of lassoing a calf from a tin horse.
- Campfire - Don't forget the marshmallows!
- Swimming - In covered heated pool. Children swimming are supervised all the time, by proficient swimmers. We do not though, have a qualified life saver on duty. The pool has a max. depth of 5' 6". If any parent is unhappy about their child swimming in these circumstances please notify a member of staff on arrival.
- Nature Trail - Three miles of track beside marshland, woodland and rivers.
- Games, quizzes, etc - A range of exciting activities are arranged to keep you busy.
- Disco - Let you hair down and party on the last night
In addition to the above activities we often invite guests form the equine industry to visit, so topics may change slightly from one camp to another. (If you know somebody who might enjoy talking to a group of children about their role in the equine industry then why not ask them to contact us!) Generally there are more topics than listed here and topics vary from year to year to ensure there is always something new for those returning more than once.
Meet our Goats, Alpacas, Camelot the camel, Smokey the Donkey, the Heavy Horses and all of the other pet animals. See the only existing herd of Camargue Horses in the UK with their foals. You may even get the opportunity to pet the foals.
Accommodation is in wooden 'Wendy Houses'. These sleep four. If you are coming with a friend, or friends, we will try to make sure you can sleep together, provided you let us know who you want to be with when you fill in your booking form! You are welcome to bring your own tent if you wish. There is CCTV in operation on the camp site at night, and a nanny stays on site with the children. Located within the fenced field in which the children camp is the toilet and shower block. This is lit at night. The camp site is located right next to the proprietors house. Please note that during our Summer Pony Camps the Valley Farm Campsite is closed to the general public for security reasons.
If you have your own pony....
Why not bring him on holiday with you? Own ponies live in, feed/hayto be provided by owner. (Lots of our regulars bring their own ponies, who I think enjoy the change as much as their owners!) If you haven't got your own pony, then we can match you up with one of ours, suitable for the activity of the day. Own ponies are ridden by their owners every day and take part in pony care sessions. For activities such as horseball, vaulting, carriage driving etc our ponies are used as many of the activities require specific training.
Want to see more?
You can see lots of videos on You Tube, which children have posted over the years. Follow this link to watch them.
You can find lots more photos on our facebook page, which you can view even if your are not signed up to facebook. Just click on the link.
How to book
Our Pony camps very ofter quickly sell out, so if there is a particular week you would like, please book early. We do keep a waiting list so, you may wish to call or email the office to check availability, especially if you are booking near to the Summer, then Print a booking form using this link , fill it in and post it to us, or if you prefer you can scan it and email us the details. You can pay by BACS (details on the booking form) or by debit card over the phone or send a cheque made payable to VALLEY FARM. If you wish to pay using child care vouchers please contact Stacy in the office.
Once you have booked, you will find a list of things you need to pack, on the bottom of the booking form. You can also download and fill in a medical consent form here, to bring with you when you arrive to check in on the monday morning.
The small print!
Communication: We prefer the children to immerse themselves in camp and make new friends reather than continually texting, therefore the use of personal communication gadgets is strongly discouraged. To minimise disruption, if you wish to speak to your child during camp, please telephone between 8am and 8.30 am or between 7pm and 8pm. It is possible to leave messages with the office staff at other times. Messages/post will be delivered to your child during break times.
Insurance: The proprietor Mrs Sarah Robertson is qualified in Riding, Carriage Driving, Vaulting, Western, Side Saddle, Stable Management, and is a St John Ambulance member. She is assisted by staff qualified in variations of the above and others. Valley Farm is licensed with Suffolk Coastal District Council and has full public liability insurance. Children may like to take out their own personal accident insurance.
Meals: All meals and drinks are inclusive in the price. Fizzy drinks, sweets and crisps are available to be purchased from the vending machines. If you child has special dietary needs, please inform us on your booking form.
Dropping off and collecting your child: Children arrive between 9.00am - 10.00am on Monday and depart at 4.30pm on Friday. Parents are welcome to drop off their child any time from 9am on the Monday morning, and can remain until 10am to help them settle in if required. Games are organised between 9am amd 10am to help the children get to know one another.
On Friday the children are free to leave at 4.30, but if parents wish to arrive from 4pm to help pack bags and watch the prize giving, they are welcome to do so.
For the younger children (away from home for the first time) three days is often sufficient and can be arranged for Monday to 4pm Wednesday. Sometimes young children may like to be collected after the evening activities and return for breakfast if staying over is too much for them. Please arrang this in advance with us if you feel this may be more suitable for your child.
FAQ: DO YOU DO HOLIDAYS FOR ADULTS?
ANSWER: YES, Click here for more info.
If you are too old for a Children's Pony Camp but don't want to miss out on all the fun, our 2015 Dates for Adult Pony Camp, for grown ups are Wednesday 2nd to Friday 4th September.