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Willow Farm Holidays welcomes children on this holiday to look after, ride, care for, and compete a pony as their own. They can also help with other animals, watch chicks, hatch, and even learn to milk a goat if they wish. Whichever way you connect with Willow Farm Holidays, ponies are great fun as they will teach you responsibility, a good work ethic, keep you fit, and make you new friends. Be part of the family, not one of a crowd!
You will stay in warm comfortable rooms in a farmhouse. One room has two beds (one bunk bed and one single bed). One room has three beds (two bunk beds and one single bed). One room has four beds (four bunk beds). The rooms are lovely pony-themed in the farmhouse and you will stay with your friends.
This is a fun riding holiday for unaccompanied children aged eight to sixteen years old. You will become part of the Pony Mad family with ponies, goats, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, etc. in rural Lincolnshire near the exciting seaside resort of Skegness. Willow Farm Holidays has 14 ponies. Small groups (six to eight children) will stay with Willow Farm Holidays as a family and enjoy qualified instruction, hacking in local countryside, jumping, bareback riding, dressage, games, a musical ride and rosettes, and prizes to take home.
There is a good choice of ponies to suit all abilities, however, children need some riding experience to join this holiday. Many children come on their own for the first time and make friends while they are here to keep in touch with and return with the following year. All the activities for the week will be recorded for you in photos and videos for you to show all your friends and family when you get home.
You will arrive / unpack. Then, you will meet your pony and your instructor and other children. Thereafter, you will groom the pony and clean your tack ready for tomorrow. After tea, there will be a discussion about the week's activities and any preferences you have.
You will feed your pony and after your breakfast, you need to groom and tack up for your assessment lesson. After which, if you are happy with your pony, you may keep him or her for the whole week. If not, here is your chance to change and find another furry friend. After lunch, there will be a second ride. This can be another lesson to a theme of your choice (jumping, dressage, flatwork, hacking, etc.). Then, you will feed your pony and come in for tea and one of the evening activities, crafts, or games.
There will be a fun morning riding session which can be divided into groups if the instructor feels you are of differing levels. There is a yard work to be done and perhaps a grooming competition or the nearest stable. After lunch, you will enjoy a nice bareback ride (please try not to slip off). You will take lots of photos of you this week so you can have a record to take home. After tea, you usually go bowling in Skegness so it's a chance to get out of those smelly jodhpurs.
You will enjoy a competition day with riding, stable management, and perhaps a quiz with other children joining in. You will savor picnic lunch on the farm without your pony eating your sandwiches hopefully. During the evening, everyone is often so tired so guests usually chill with a DVD and popcorn.
You will have a morning ride. Then, there will be an afternoon outing to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park to meet the resident tigers and other animals - some get up close and personal. You could have a parrot on your arm or head or chewing your ear (animal handling is optional).
You will experience a morning ride. Afternoon will be spent on Skegness seafront, beach, funfair, fish and chips, amusements - a chance to buy a present for those at home.
In the morning, you will take a few last photos of your pony. You need to pack all your things and wait for parents to witness the grand prize-giving. Will you have won "The Most Improved Rider", "The Best Turned Out", or one of the many competitions held throughout the week?
Note: You don't need to bring any more money unless you want to buy an ice-cream on an outing or buy a present to take home.
The ponies are all registered native breeds / Highland, New Forest, and Welsh. Some are the outgrown pony club ponies and all compete locally. Willow Farm Holidays has all sorts - some quiet, some challenging, some brilliant jumpers, and some are very fast at games. Thus, please let Willow Farm Holidays know your interests and abilities when you book and they will try and match you with your perfect pony. All the ponies are lovely - many get fan mail which they do reply to but Willow Farm Holidays would always swap you if you did not get on. Willow Farm Holidays can sometimes take children with their own ponies. This very much depends on the time of the year and availability of paddocks and stables. Ponies must have current vaccination cards and full insurance.
This horse riding holiday will take place in Lincolnshire Fens (mid-way between Boston and Skegness), UK.
You will be served home-cooked meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with lots of cake. All food is home-cooked and locally sourced. Willow Farm Holidays can cope with most diets if they know in advance. Most of the family is vegetarian so there is always a vegetarian and a meat choice. Sue makes lots of home-made cakes for supper and there are biscuits during the day if you're peckish.
Apart from mucking out your pony, cleaning your tack, grooming and general stable yard activities, Willow Farm Holidays organizes evenings of sports, crafts, and games (inside and out).
Note: This is a good and quickest route, probably about an hour and 15 minutes from the Humber Bridge. Willow Farm Holidays found this as Jess went to Giggleswick School at Settle in the Yorkshire Dales for several years. Please don’t be tempted to come via Louth or Grimsby. There will be awful roads and a very long way round.
Please book your flight to arrive at London Stansted Airport (STN), Heathrow Airport (LHR), East Midlands Airport (EMA), or Manchester Airport (MAN).
All have good train connections to here. Willow Farm Holidays also has a courier service to meet and return children safely to the airports. Please send an inquiry for more information.
Willow Farm Holidays can meet children at Wainfleet Station. Please send an inquiry for more information.
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