In my new role as MGAGBs Horse and Pony Welfare Officer I’d like to invite you all to be a part of this “thing” called pony welfare.
I’m sure we can all agree that our ponies are the most important and most loved part of our sport. Generally speaking, MGA people see their pony as a partner, a friend and someone they can rely on.
In my new position I’m mainly seeing myself as an advisor and helper. Please do not expect me to run around with a clipboard or patrol your corrals at night.
However, there are a few rules we should all keep in the back of our minds:
– Ponies should always have fresh water and grass/roughage available in their corrals during the competition
– Sports boots should not be left on ponies in between sessions
– Rugs should be worn according to the outside temperature / individual weather situation
– Ponies need to be in an appropriate condition to compete, ie not malnourished, obese or lame
First I’d like to encourage everybody who’s feeling unsure about his/her pony’s psychological needs and physical status to contact me. Secondly, if anybody should observe someone mistreating a games pony, please don’t hesitate to contact me as well.
This can be done anonymously and will be dealt with in a discrete manner. I’ll be working closely with the general committee and the chief referee. We don’t want anybody to feel under pressure – but pony welfare should be everybody’s priority in this association!
In regards to the new weight rules, I’ll be carrying an equine measuring tape around with me, but I won’t be involved in the actual weighing process of riders. This is being headed up by Sophie Morris, MGAGB Safeguarding Officer. The final decision in this matter lies with the chief referee.
I wish you all a successful and happy season!
MGAGB Horse & Pony Welfare Officer