FROM, five to 11 years old, horse mad youngsters enjoyed their annual pony club camp at Craven Country Ride, Coniston Cold.

More than 20 members of the junior section of the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt branch of the Pony Club spent three days honing showjumping, dressage and cross country skills.

The girls and boys were given lessons by qualified instructors, and in addition shared knowledge on tacking up, grooming and equine first aid.

Because of their age, the riders and their ponies did not camp overnight, but returned every morning for a full day of riding and lectures.

And on Thursday, at the end of camp, they took part in a mini one day event - like the weekend's Skipton Horse Trials.

Chief instructor Helen Robinson said it was a valuable way for the young riders to develop confidence.

"We find that one might not like going through water, but another will come along and go through and then they'll just follow along, they encourage each other," she said.

Each of the days started with a tack and turnout inspection, followed by an hour and a half ride, then lunch. In the afternoons, there was more riding, and at the end of the day, all important tack cleaning.

The youngsters also had the opportunity to pick up a number of graded achievement badges.

All those taking part in the camp owned their own ponies, but it is possible for keen riders to join Pony Club through a riding centre.

The Pendle Forest branch's senior members also go on camp, but to Cheshire, where they go for five days of intensive training.