Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a student / member to trek?

Not at all! Although we are a university society, that just means that all of our treks are run by student volunteers. Everyone is welcome to come on a trek with us, either as a one-off or more regularly. If you’re planning on trekking with us 3 or more times in a season (summer or term time) then we’d recommend buying our membership, which gets you £5 off every trek!

Those Ponies look small, am I too big to ride them?

Although our ponies are small, they are remarkably strong and we find you’ll soon forget how small they are once you’re on board! Our only limitation on rider size is our weight limit, which varies throughout the year depending on which ponies we have available and how fit they are – at the moment it is 70kg (154 lb). If one member of your group is above our weight limit (or just doesn’t want to ride) but still wants to join in on the experience, they are always very welcome to come along, meet the ponies, and walk alongside the trek if they want.

For the ponies welfare we do have to be strict about our weight limits, so please give us an accurate weight with all equipment (clothes, hat/helmet, and boots) on when booking so we can choose you a suitable steed. We reserve the right to verify your weight and cancel your trek if we have no suitable ponies for you.

You seem to have two different locations, where will my trek be?

During the University term (mid September until May), we keep our ponies at Swanston Farm in the Pentlands and trek there every Saturday and Sunday. At the beginning of June, we ship all the ponies 1 hour north of Edinburgh to Glendevon, where we enjoy a summer of fresh grass and different trekking routes. At the beginning of September, we move the ponies back to Edinburgh where they have a bit of a rest before we start trekking again in mid-late September. (Exact dates vary each year, check out our Facebook page to find the most recent information!)

I haven't received a reply to my email yet, when will you get in touch?

As our entire operation is run on a voluntary basis by full-time students, it can sometimes take us a little longer to reply to emails, especially during exam seasons. We appreciate your patience if our replies are a little slow, but if you think your email might have been missed then feel free to contact us to check.

During the summer when we are trekking in Glendevon, we have very limited access to internet so we ask that you please call us for any trekking or booking enquiries.

We want to trek together but haven different riding abilities, is this possible?

Yes, definitely! Although some of our rides are for experienced riders only, the rest are open to riders of all abilities. We always make sure that we cater safely for the least experienced riders on a ride, so mixed ability rides tend to be a little slower, but everyone is welcome and when we can, we try to give experienced riders a chance to go a little faster.

Is my child old enough to come on a pony trek?

We welcome all children aged 4 and older on our treks. Children under the age of 8 will have their pony led by a trek leader. All children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times on the trek – this adult can be on a pony of their own or walking on foot along with the ride.

What should I wear on my ride?

You will need to bring the following for the trek:
– Sturdy boots or shoes with a small heel suitable for riding in (for example wellington boots) – NO open-toe shoes
– Warm clothes including comfortable trousers (jodhpurs, tracksuit bottoms or leggings – NOT jeans, shorts, or skirts/dresses), gloves and waterproofs. The weather is very changeable in the hills so please bring these even if it looks sunny in the city! We always recommend more layers as they can be locked in the tack shed while trekking.

If you have your own riding helmet you are welcome to bring it, but it must adhere to the current Safety Standards: BSEN1384, PAS015 or ASTM F1163 and should be Kitemarked or SEI regulations otherwise we will require you to wear one of our helmets for the ride.

Do you offer private treks?

Unfortunately, as we only run a limited number of treks, we are unable to offer private sessions. We take up to 6 people on a trek together so you may be riding with other groups or individuals up to this total. We can sometimes offer sessions tailored to your group depending on your requirements and our trek leader availability.

How large a group can ride together?

We can take up to 6 people riding together at once, but depending on the abilities/weights of the individuals your group this number may be less. ​If you are a group of 6 or more, we can sometimes offer sessions tailored to your group depending on your requirements and our trek leader availability.

Can I book a pony party?

We don’t normally offer pony parties as it interrupts our regular trekking schedule however we can make exceptions. Drop us an email and we’ll get back to you about it.

Can I help at the stables / do work experience?

Unfortunately, due to the student-run nature of our organisation, we are not in a position to accept any work experience students or stables assistants. If you are a student at the University of Edinburgh and are interested in becoming a trek leader, you can find more information on that here.

What forms of payment do you accept?

When trekking in the Pentlands all payments are to be made online via the website ahead of the trek – please book here

When trekking in Glendevon we accept both cheque and cash.

What happens if the weather is bad when I have booked a trek?

Unless it is unsafe to ride, our treks go ahead whatever the weather! In less than ideal weather, we recommend bringing lots of warm clothing and waterproofs – any spare clothing you bring can be safely locked away during the ride. In the rare cases where we deem it unsafe to ride (usually only excessively high winds or icy conditions) we will give you as much notice as possible and will try to book you on another trek as soon as we can.

What happens if I need to cancel my booking?

We have a 48 hour cancellation policy. If you need to cancel or reschedule your trek within 48 hours of the scheduled start time, we require full payment for the trek as we will be unable to fill your space at such short notice. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule a trek, preferably contacting us with the same method by which you booked. Our cancellation policy doesn’t apply if you have to cancel due to COVID-19.

Can I borrow equipment if I don't have my own?

Yes! You don’t need any specialist equipment of your own to ride with us – we have a selection of riding helmets to fit all head sizes.

We even have a very limited selection of boots and waterproofs to borrow, but you should not rely on these so make sure your clothing and footwear are safe to ride in.

Do you offer gift vouchers?

Yes! Check out our shop If you would like to buy a voucher. You can buy one for any type of trek, and vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. The voucher can be redeemed at any time in that period, for the type of trek originally purchased or as part payment for another type of trek.

How many young children can come on a ride at once?

Unfortunately we are limited by our ponies on the amount of young children on the lead rein (We call this a pootle!) that we can take at once. Generally we only have 3 trek leaders on a pootle so the maximum amount of lead rein children we can take is 3 although sometimes we can make exceptions so get in touch.

How do I get in touch with you?

Between the months of September and May you can book a trek via our trekking page here. If you are not looking to book a trek and simply have a question or want to get in touch please email us at [email protected]. Or contact us via our website form here. During the summer term (between June and September) we have limited reception so call us to book a trek. Our contact details can be found here

Where can I find rider registration form?

Rider registration forms can be found here. Please ensure that you have printed out and completed a form for each rider. If you are unable to access a printer prior to your trek please let us know so that we can provide forms on site.