Manage children’s screen time with a pony share

This week we find out how to manage children’s screen time, with a Pony Share.

A playful childhood

It’s over a decade since the introduction of smartphones, and there is growing evidence that early exposure to screens is not good for children. However, managing screen time is not easy, and having a regular riding session that they enjoy, can help get children out in nature. Time spent with an animal can also lower anxiety and, if the activity is with friends, there is a greater chance of sticking with it. Up until 2010, scientists describe childhood as “playful”.

Rosemary and Liz were lucky enough to have a TV free, playful childhood, full of ponies and animals on a farm. They started Shetland Pony Club, by taking bookings over the phone with a paper diary.

A digital childhood

Since 2010, children and teenagers are increasingly experiencing a digital childhood, with more access to screens, which scientists are concerned about.  Here are some links to find out more about the science:  Age of First Smartphone/Tablet and Mental Wellbeing Outcomes and Jonathan Haidt: Smartphones vs. Smart Kids. Screens have impacted all our lives, and managing children’s screen time is not easy for parents.

How a Pony Share can help

So how can you keep your child in a playful childhood for longer? Pony Share Membership is a regular commitment that keeps children in nature, bonding with a pony, making friends, learning and being outside in all weathers. Since 2008 we have seen children flourish with their ponies, with consistent habits that help towards happy childhoods.

If you’d like to know more about Pony Share Membership at Shetland Pony Club you can find out how to join here.

Watch the video to find out more.

From Rosemary, Liz, Libbie, the Team, and all the ponies at Shetland Pony Club

P.S. Shetland Pony Club is now open for riding at weekends and holidays until 1 December 2024.

book now


Pony Share Membership for 2024

We are enrolling now for our Pony Share Membership for 2024

You can experience a pony of your own, the easy way, with Pony Share Membership. Learn to ride, build a bond with your pony, come regularly to our club and enjoy pony fun in the countryside.

  • Pony Membership – a pony of your own each week, 2 hours, from age 4+ £275 per month.
  • Mini Membership – a pony of your own each week, 45 minutes, from age 3+ £195 per month.

Find out more here


What to book at Shetland Pony Club

Starter Rides – are 45 minutes long and are specially designed as early learning to ride experiences for children. From age 3 years old. £50 per child.

Own a Pony Experiences – are two hours long and are delightful early riding and learning experiences for children from age 4 years old. £75 per child.

Shetland Pony Parties – amazing pony parties for children aged 3 – 10 years old. Use of a private facility with 6 ponies, creating magical memories for your child’s birthday. One and a half hours riding time, £750 for 10 children. Extra riding children (up to 18), £30 each.

Easter Egg Hunts – Shetland Pony Treasure Hunts especially for Easter, learning to ride along a trail and chocolate eggs to find in the countryside. Ages 4 to 10 years old. One and a half hours – £75 per child.

Summer pony camp days and weeks – enjoy the whole day with your favourite Shetland pony. Learn to ride him, look after him and enjoy being with him all day long. 9:30am – 4pm, Summer holidays only. Age 5+. £150 per day.

Pony Walking Experiences – the perfect way for grown-ups and everyone aged 11+ to enjoy Shetland Ponies in the beautiful Surrey countryside. Come and spend time learning about and leading an adorable Shetland Pony. Followed by coffee and brownies. 1 Hour, £50 per adult.

book now

Take a moment to watch this week’s video: How to manage children’s screen time with a pony share

Working with our Shetland Ponies

This week we are working with our Shetland ponies to get them ready for riding. We open Shetland Pony Club this weekend, on 2 March.

Ponies love horse whispering

At Shetland Pony Club we use Natural Horsemanship, or horse whispering.  This is where we communicate with our ponies through our body language and voice, so that he wants to be with us.

Team Training in Natural Horsemanship

We employ over 60 young people to lead our Shetland ponies and they need to learn about how to “Talk Horse” too. They learn how to make friends with their pony and to be his leader, so that he knows what he is being asked to do.

Liz, a BHS Accredited Coach, is giving a lesson in this week’s video. The ponies love to make friends with their leader and its rewarding for all when they connect and make friends, forming a great team.

Opening this weekend

Yay! We open for riding again, on 2 March 2024.  We are nearly full for our opening weekend, so do book online now, or give us a call.

Watch the video to find out more.

We can’t wait to see you for riding again.

From Rosemary, Liz, Libbie, the Team, and all the ponies at Shetland Pony Club

P.S. Bookings for riding at Shetland Pony Club are open, and we start riding again on 2 March 2024  – be quick – just a few spaces left.

book now


Shetland Pony Club reopens this weekend – Saturday 2 March 2024

What to book at Shetland Pony Club

Starter Rides – are 45 minutes long and are specially designed as early learning to ride experiences for children. From age 3 years old. £50 per child.

  • Saturday 2 March – fully booked
  • Sunday 3  March – 9am – 3 spaces
  • Saturday 9 March – 3.15pm – 2 spaces
  • Sunday 10  March – Extra ponies added for Mother’s Day 2.15pm and 3.15pm – 4 spaces

Own a Pony Experiences – are two hours long and are delightful early riding and learning experiences for children from age 4 years old. £75 per child.

  • Saturday 2 March – fully booked
  • Sunday 3  March  – fully booked
  • Sunday 10  March – Extra ponies added for Mother’s Day 2.15pm  – 3 spaces

Shetland Pony Parties – amazing pony parties for children aged 3 – 10 years old. Use of a private facility with 6 ponies, creating magical memories for your child’s birthday. One and a half hours riding time, £750 for 10 children. Extra riding children (up to 18), £30 each.

  • March dates  – All fully booked
  • Saturday 6  April – next party availability

Pony Walking Experiences – the perfect way for grown-ups and everyone aged 11+ to enjoy Shetland Ponies in the beautiful Surrey countryside. Come and spend time learning about and leading an adorable Shetland Pony. Followed by coffee and brownies. 1 Hour, £50 per adult.

Events

Easter Egg Hunts – Shetland Pony Treasure Hunts especially for Easter, learning to ride along a trail and chocolate eggs to find in the countryside. Ages 4 to 10 years old. One and a half hours – £75 per child.

Summer pony camp days and weeks – enjoy the whole day with your favourite Shetland pony. Learn to ride him, look after him and enjoy being with him all day long. 9:30am – 4pm, Summer holidays only. Age 5+. £150 per day.

Members Club

Pony Share Membership – experience a pony of your own, the easy way. Learn to ride, build a bond with your pony, come regularly to our club and enjoy pony riding in the countryside.  Contact us to see if we have a suitable pony free for your child on 07734 950 309 or info@shetlandponyclub.co.uk

  • Pony Membership– a pony of your own each week, 2 hours, from age 4+ £275 per month.
  • Mini Membership– a pony of your own each week, 45 minutes, from age 3+ £195 per month.

book now

Take a moment to watch this week’s video: Working with our Shetland Ponies

Training time with our Shetland Ponies

It’s training time with our Shetland Ponies as we get ready for the new season, starting next weekend, at Shetland Pony Club. The winter holidays are over and the team and ponies are getting ready to start riding again. All the children will be arriving soon, so the ponies need to practice with the team, in preparation for 2 March, opening day.

Training Time

Liz, a BHS Accredited Coach, is training the team with lots of exercises. They practice getting the ponies to walk nicely, to halt and back through some poles, followed by a lovely scratch – pony speak for “well done!”.

Natural Horsemanship teaches great manners

The ponies and team learn to halt by a cone, then stop precisely, with one foot over a pole. They love pleasing their staff member and are rewarded naturally, with a good scratch as their mother would give them in the wild.

Brulee’s brilliant back-up

Once those skills have been mastered, the ponies learn to go backwards through some poles. Crème Brulee is an old hand at this. Watch him show us how it’s done, in this week’s video.

One week to go before we open

There’s just over one week to go before we open for riding again, on 2 March 2024. If you’d also like to join the team and ponies with your child, and to start riding, bookings are now open online here.

Watch the video to find out more:

We can’t wait to see you for riding again.

From Rosemary, Liz, Libbie, the Team, and all the ponies at Shetland Pony Club

P.S. Bookings for riding at Shetland Pony Club are filling up fast, and we start riding again on 2 March 2024.

book now


Shetland Pony Club reopens on 2 March 2024

What to book at Shetland Pony Club

Starter Rides – are 45 minutes long and are specially designed as early learning to ride experiences for children. From age 3 years old. £50 per child.

Own a Pony Experiences – are two hours long and are delightful early riding and learning experiences for children from age 4 years old. £75 per child.

Shetland Pony Parties – amazing pony parties for children aged 3 – 10 years old. Use of a private facility with 6 ponies, creating magical memories for your child’s birthday. One and a half hours riding time, £750 for 10 children. Extra riding children (up to 18), £30 each.

Easter Egg Hunts – Shetland Pony Treasure Hunts especially for Easter, learning to ride along a trail and chocolate eggs to find in the countryside. Ages 4 to 10 years old. One and a half hours – £75 per child.

More booking ideas

Summer pony camp days and weeks – enjoy the whole day with your favourite Shetland pony. Learn to ride him, look after him and enjoy being with him all day long. 9:30am – 4pm, Summer holidays only. Age 5+. £150 per day.

Pony Share Membership – experience a pony of your own, the easy way. Learn to ride, build a bond with your pony, come regularly to our club and enjoy pony riding in the countryside.

  • Pony Membership– a pony of your own each week, 2 hours, from age 4+ £275 per month.
  • Mini Membership– a pony of your own each week, 45 minutes, from age 3+ £195 per month.

Pony Walking Experiences – the perfect way for grown-ups and everyone aged 11+ to enjoy Shetland Ponies in the beautiful Surrey countryside. Come and spend time learning about and leading an adorable Shetland Pony. Followed by coffee and brownies. 1 Hour, £50 per adult.

book now

Take a moment to watch this week’s video: Training time with our Shetland Ponies:

How can my child start pony riding – Parents Advice Part 3

Research shows that riding is good for children

In our first 2 videos in this Parents Advice series, we learned that regular access to green spaces, which happens when you ride outside, can make your child healthier and happier. Riding from a young age can lead to a life of success and fun too.

How can my child start pony riding?

Parents often ask us the best way to begin riding with children, because we have taught over 20,000 children to ride. Successful riding starts with having the right trained pony, and a Shetland pony is small and helps children feel confident.

It’s important to have an experienced helper. All our children ride on a lead rein, with a one-to-one helper to guide them every step of the way, making learning riding fun, easy and safe.

Special Riding Method

We have a special beginners’ riding method, where we use soft saddles to start children learning riding. This helps children develop a good seat and position, and we add stirrups and reins later. Children ride outside in nature with friends, so they relax and have fun when they are with their pony, caring for him as well as riding.

Which type of riding should I choose for my child?

Starter Rides are a great way to begin from age 3. Children meet their pony and spend 45 mins with him. They brush and get to know him, and have a short, happy ride with their pony and helper.

Own a Pony Experiences are suitable for children from age 4. They meet their pony and learn how to care for him, as well as a longer ride with friends around our beautiful farmland trails.

Pony Share Membership is great for those who are keen to ride weekly, without the costs and responsibilities of actually owning a pony. It’s a practical way for keen children to learn more and enjoy the benefits of regular riding.

So, a great way to begin riding with children is to start at a specialist children’s riding centre, like Shetland Pony Club.

Bookings are now open for 2024, so if you’d like your child to start pony riding:

book now

Watch the video to find out more.

We can’t wait to see you for riding again from 2 March 2024!

From Rosemary, Liz, Libbie, the Team, and all the ponies at Shetland Pony Club

P.S. Bookings for riding at Shetland Pony Club are now open and we start riding again on 2 March 2024.


Bookings update – bookings for 2024 are now open!

We start riding again on 2 March 2024 and we are so looking forward to welcoming you!

book now

What to book at Shetland Pony Club

Starter Rides – 45 minutes long and are specially designed as first riding experiences for children. From age 3 years old. £50 per child.

Own a Pony Experiences – two hours long and are delightful early riding and learning experiences for children from age 4 years old. £75 per child.

Starter Ride at Shetland Pony Club

Shetland Pony Parties – amazing pony parties for children aged 3 -10 years old. Use of a private facility with 6 ponies, creating magical memories for your child’s birthday. One and a half hours, £750 for 10 children. Extra riding children (up to 18), £30 each.

Easter Egg Hunts – fun Shetland Pony Treasure Hunts especially for Easter, with riding along a trail and chocolate eggs to find in the countryside. Ages 4 to 10 years old. One and a half hours – £75 per child

book now

Summer pony camp days – enjoy the whole day with your favourite Shetland pony. Learn to ride him, look after him and enjoy being with him all day long. 9:30am – 4pm, Summer holidays only. Age 5+. £150 per day or £600 per week.

Vets day at Shetland Pony Club CampVets Day Pony Weighing at Shetland Pony Club

Pony Share Membership – experience a pony of your own, the easy way. Learn to ride, build a bond with your pony, come regularly to our club and enjoy pony fun in the countryside.

  • Pony Membership– a pony of your own each week, 2 hours, from age 4+ £275 per month.
  • Mini Membership– a pony of your own each week, 45 minutes, from age 3+ £195 per month.

Pony Walking Experiences – the perfect way for grown-ups and everyone aged 11+ to enjoy Shetland Ponies in the beautiful Surrey countryside. Come and spend time learning about and leading an adorable Shetland pony. Followed by Coffee and brownies. 1 Hour, £50 per adult

Customer views

book now

Take a moment to watch this week’s video: How can my child start pony riding?

Where are our Pony Share Members Now-15 Years On? Parents Advice Part 2

Many parents and children dream of riding, and our motto at Shetland Pony Club is: Small Ponies…Big Dreams. Yet, when you are thinking about organising riding for your child, you may not be sure where it could take them in the future.

Shetland Pony Club has been helping children start their riding journeys for 15 years. In the second of our Parents Advice videos, Rosemary, Founder of Shetland Pony Club, shares where some of our former riders are now. Take a look to see where your child’s riding journey could take them.

Success in many fields

Lots of our riders have gone on to own their own horses and become accomplished riders, with soft hands and a good seat, due to their sound start at Shetland Pony Club. Many have enjoyed riding with their families on holidays around the world.

Some have gone on to compete at high levels in polo and eventing. Some have even chosen horses as a career path, first working at Shetland Pony Club, then training as vets and veterinary nurses.

By starting riding on small ponies, you really can make your big dreams come true.

Watch the video to find out more and leave a comment below.

From Rosemary, Liz, Libbie, the Team, and all the ponies at Shetland Pony Club

P.S. In the next video we find out more about how your child can start their riding journey.


Pony Share Membership

If you’d like your child to ride regularly, be outside in nature with a pony, and start your riding journey, you can become a Pony Share Member. We are enrolling now for regular riding from March and you can find out more here.


Bookings update

The office is open throughout the winter.

We start riding again on 2 March 2024.  Bookings for 2024 will open in 31 January. Please keep an eye on our weekly emails and join the waitlist to be the first to know when bookings are released.

What to book on 31 January

Starter Rides – are 45 minutes long and are specially designed as first riding experiences for children. Now from age 3 years old. £50 per child.

Own a Pony Experiences – are two hours long and are delightful early riding and learning experiences for children from age 4 years old. £75 per child.

Shetland Pony Parties – amazing pony parties for children aged 3 -10 years old. Use of a private facility with 6 ponies, creating magical memories for your child’s birthday. One and a half hours, £750 for 10 children. Extra riding children (up to 18), £30 each.

Take a moment to watch this week’s video: Where are our Pony Share Members Now-15 Years On?

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Why are ponies good for children – The Science: Parents Advice Part 1

Why are ponies good for children? Parents often ask us this question, and in the first video in our Parents’ Advice Series, Rosemary, Founder of Shetland Pony Club, shares the science that explains this important subject. 

Spending time in nature 

There are lots of benefits for children of being in nature. Shetland Pony Club is a Founder Member of the Children and Nature Network where there is an extensive library of scientific evidence demonstrating that being outside in nature helps with long term mental and physical health.

Connection with an animal 

Being with an animal gives the benefits of responsibility and empathy. Children experience love and responsibility when caring for their pony. Scientific studies have also shown that it can improve decision making. 

Chin up, on your pony! 

Being on screens causes us to look down and have poor posture. Looking up and sitting tall is known to make you feel good and is an important part of riding safely. Learning new pony skills boosts your confidence and increases your happiness too.  

In summary, there are lots of good reasons why ponies are good for children. 

Watch the video to find out more and leave a comment below. 

From Rosemary, Liz, Libbie, the Team, and all the ponies at Shetland Pony Club 

P.S. In the next video we find out more about how your child can benefit from riding. 


 Pony Share Membership 

If you’d like your child to ride regularly and be outside in nature with a pony, you can become a Pony Share Member. We are enrolling now for regular riding from March and you can find out more here.  If you’d like to enrol your child for Pony Share Membership join the waiting list and we will be in touch.


Bookings update 

The office is open throughout the winter.  We start riding again on 2 March 2024. 

General bookings for 2024 will open on 31 January.  Join the VIP waitlist to be the first to know when bookings are released. 

What to book on 31 January 

Starter Rides– are 45 minutes long and are specially designed as first riding experiences for children. Now from age 3 years old. £50 per child. 

Own a Pony Experiences– are two hours long and are delightful early riding and learning experiences for children from age 4 years old. £75 per child. 

Shetland Pony Parties – amazing pony parties for children aged 3 -10 years old. Use of a private facility with 6 ponies, creating magical memories for your child’s birthday. One and a half hours, £750 for 10 children. Extra riding children (up to 18), £30 each.  

Take a moment to watch this week’s video: Why are ponies good for children 

We would love to hear from you

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.