Riding Holidays for unaccompanied children aged 6 to 17, individuals or groups. OFSTED Registered VC374742. Childcare Vouchers accepted.
For a really fun, action packed riding holiday experience, try a Valley Farm Pony Camp.
Five Day Summer Camp
We offer summer residential pony camps for 5 days for children each Monday-Friday during the summer holidays. Accommodation is in our wooden 'Wendy Houses' on site.
Dates for 2018 w/c
23rd July Fully booked.
30th July Fully booked.
6 August Fully booked
13 August Fully booked
20 August Fully booked
27 August 6 spaces available
Non-refundable payment of £499.00 due on 2018 bookings.
If you wish to move weeks after booking (if spaces available) there is a £15.00 administration fee per place.
Activity Days - School Holidays
Every half term and school holiday we offer activity days, from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Children can come and join in daily for as many of these 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 (Campsite closed Monday - Thursday nights during Summer holiday).
Young Equestrian Camp - October 22nd - 26th 2018.
The Young Equestrian Camp is aimed at the more able rider and concentrates on Dressage, Working Hunter and Show jumping training and competitions for children aged 12-18. £499.00 non refundable payment due on booking.
Activity Days/Camps for Schools
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!
What happens on Summer Pony Camps at Valley Farm:
We aim to provide a well rounded, fun packed, educational holiday 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 & activity days are based on the ideals of the Pony Club which are:
N.B. Children do not need to be members of the Pony Club UK to join us for pony camp or activity days. Our Pony Camps are suitable for all including, members, non members, 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 10 stone. This is because the ponies trained for all the specialist activities are not all weight carriers. 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. Own ponies will be looked after and ridden only by their owners.
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 around 35 well trained horses to choose from so you are sure to find a suitable companion.
Children are divided into small groups for riding activities. The groups are allocated according to age and friendships. We also take into account the suitability of the ponies for each group based on the information provided on the booking forms.
For meals, breaks and the evening games and activities, such as ball games, campfire and crafts, 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 opportunity 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. Every child will have the opportunity to ride lots of different horses/ponies and learn a wide variety of new skills.
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. In addition to those listed we have also covered the following, some of which we will be repeating this year:
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/hay to 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. Livery fee applies for own ponies.
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 you are not signed up to facebook.
If you would like to find out more about Valley Farm follow this link to our public facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ValleyFarmOnline.co.uk
How to book
Our Pony camps very often 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. You can pay by Paypal, Childcare Vouchers, or by debit card over the phone. If you wish to pay using child care vouchers please contact Stacy in the office.
You can click click the BOOK HERE button at the bottom of the page then you will need to complete a Pony Camp booking form which you can find under the EVENTS & BOOKING TAB
Once you have booked, you will find a list of things you need to pack, on the bottom of the booking form. Don't forget to bring your Medical consent form in on the day, this is emailed to you with the confirmation of final payment. If you haven't received this please check we have received your booking form and have your correct email address.
The small print!
Bookings and cancellations Our preferred method of payment is direct bank transfer. You can also pay by debit card in person or over the phone or make payment online by clicking the 'book now' button at the bottom of the page. Please contact us if you wish to pay using childcare vouchers, or if you wish to make your payment in two installments. Please ensure you return the booking form when you make your payment. If you wish to change the week you have booked to another there will be a £15.00 administration charge.
Communication: We prefer the children to immerse themselves in camp and make new friends rather 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 7.30am and 8.30 am. It is possible to leave messages with the office staff at other times. Messages/post will be delivered to your child during break times. We often find that Children do become homesick after speaking to their parents so this year we are asking that you only call in the morning.
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 including water and squash are included in the price. Additional Fizzy drinks, sweets and crisps are available to be purchased from the vending machines. If your 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. Please ensure you check your child out with reception when you leave, so we don't panic thinking we have lost a child!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO PACK- PLEASE NAME ALL ITEMS CLEARLY !
Usual riding things including Riding Hat to current standard (minimum pas015) and riding boots, Changes of clothes,
Swimming things, Sleeping mat/single sized mattress/Camp bed, Pillow, Blanket, Sleeping bag, Torch, Wellies and Waterproof coat, Wash things including towel, Soft shoes/trainers are required for voltige, Sunblock, Any routine medications. Plasters, as many children suffer from blisters when wearing boots every day! Cup, Bowl, Plate, Knife, Fork, Spoon. Tea Towel (and carrier bag to keep items in)
Money for Tuck Shop (can be kept in reception in a labelled money bag), Grooming kit, Plaiting Bands/Ribbons etc. for Pony Pamper. Disposable camera.
N.B. Please keep jewellery to a minimum (watch & small earrings only)
It is recommended that expensive electronic devices, phones etc. are left at home. If they are brought, they must be clearly named, and will be collected in overnight, and returned at breakfast time.
Lost property (if found) can be collected in person, or we will package it for you to arrange a courier collection.
Q: DO YOU DO HOLIDAYS FOR ADULTS?
If you are too old for a Children's Pony Camp but don't want to miss out on all the fun, we hold activity days for adults. If you fancy a longer break, you can come with a group of friends and stay on our campsite or enjoy the comfort of our holiday lodge (if camping is no longer up your street!) You can then book lessons in as many of our equestrian activities as you would like, enjoy delicious meals in the cafe, and spend your spare time relaxing on the farm, exploring the farm walks or doing your own thing.
Q: CAN BOYS ATTEND CAMP?
A: YES Although is it mostly girls who attend camps, we often have a few boys. The boys sleep in their own cabin and do not mix with the girls at night, unless it has been requested that they sleep together in a family group with their sisters!
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, talent shows etc until bedtime.