Register Your Interest:
To register your interest in the course and get an email when bookings for interest meetings are available, please fill out the form here. It’s also important to come to one of our interest meetings. These are at 18:00 – 19:00 on 18th, 20th, 21st September 2023 in Appleton Tower Room 2.12 and are all going ahead.
About the Course
The Edinburgh University Exmoor Pony Trekking Section is unique and requires the input of dedicated students to care for our herd of distinctive, irreplaceable ponies in a friendly, fun, non-competitive environment. The Trek Leader’s Course is a yearlong course that runs on a Wednesday afternoon for students at the University of Edinburgh who want to become more involved in the maintenance of the herd.
The course is designed to give you all the necessary knowledge and skill needed for you to lead safe and enjoyable treks. Becoming a TLC is ideal for anyone who loves spending time with ponies because you get to:
- Ride on Wednesday afternoons.
- Become a member of our section, including invites to social events, newsletters, and a vote at committee meetings and the AGM.
- Human and pony first aid courses.
- Iconic red trek leader jacket.
- Spend a week camping at our Glendevon location with the ponies, learning the routes.
- FREE trekking whenever possible!
You aren’t just allowed to ride the ponies at your own leisure (provided 2 trek leaders are present and the ponies are not required for treks), you are encouraged to trek as much as possible to get to know the character of each individual pony in the herd and the basic trek routine. Ours is the society to join if you want to ride as much as possible!
During the course, you will also get to learn about:
- The endangered Exmoor breed.
- All aspects of pony care, including foot care, tack fitting and cleaning, vaccination and worming.
- How we run our treks, including trek routes.
- First aid for humans and ponies as well as becoming acquainted with all our ponies and learning to tell them apart!
We spend more time caring for the ponies on the ground than we do riding them, so a love for all things pony is an absolute must in joining our society. We want you to enjoy all aspects of pony welfare, not just the riding part of it!
Responsibilities of a Trek Leader
To maintain our herd of ponies, we run a trekking business in addition to acting as a university society. In joining our section, you also become a volunteer for the business. The responsibilities of a trek leader and those on the trek leader course include:
- Minimum two days per semester leading weekend treks.
- One week every summer (Fri-Fri) staying in our caravan at our Glendevon location, trekking daily (this is in addition to the educational week which is part of the trek leader course).
- Checking the ponies’ feet, water and welfare once a month.
- Voting in regular polls on the direction of the section (including pony purchases, whether to attend shows and more!)
- Participating in the upkeep of the herd, including helping out at farrier appointments, being present for vet visits, taking the ponies for their annual dentals and more.
To join the trek leader course, you must be:
- A fully matriculated student at the University of Edinburgh with two or more years of study left to complete.
- 2+ years’ experience with horses and their welfare.
- Confident in walk, trot and canter.
- Weigh less than 70kg.
What makes a good application
If you’re excited about this opportunity, we are excited to meet you! The two best traits in a trek leader are love for the ponies and dedication to the section, so this is what we look for in our applicants every year. We are looking for the people who want to join our committee, get dug in with the poo-picking and will be up to see the ponies as often as they can. This year in particular we are looking for a high level of horse husbandry: the more experience you’ve had working with horses on the ground, the better! We can’t wait to meet you this September.
Find out more!
If you are interested in becoming a trek leader, make sure you register that interest on the form at the top of this page. We also have a full calendar of Welcome Weeks events where you can meet us including:
- Welcome Week Treks on 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th September 2023, open to Freshers of all abilities not just those interested in joining the section.
- To join one of these treks, either sign-up at a Fresher’s stall or email [email protected]
- Dick Vet Fresher’s fair, 12:00 – 14:00, 12th September 2023
- EUSA activities fair, 09:30 – 17:30, 14th September 2023
- Meet-the-ponies, 16th September 2023
- Please note this is a public event that is not just for Uni students: anyone is welcome to come!
- Interest meetings at 18:00 – 19:00 on 18th, 20th, 21st September 2023, Appleton Tower Room 2.12.