What is Pony Club?
The mission of the United States Pony Clubs is to provide a program for youth that teaches riding, mounted sports, and the care of horses and ponies, thereby developing responsibility, moral judgment, leadership, and self-confidence. Pony Club is one of the leading junior equestrian organizations in the world, represented throughout 30 countries. Through its curriculum of mounted and unmounted lessons, Pony Club is committed to developing horsemen and women, not just riders. The United States has over 600 individual Clubs spread throughout 48 states and the Virgin Islands, with more than 12,000 members.
Instruction and Competition
Pony Club provides opportunities for instruction and competition in English riding, horse sports and horse management for children and young adults up to 25 years of age. The term “pony” reflects the age of the members, rather than the size of the mount. Horses and ponies of many different breeds and sizes are seen in Pony Club activities. It is not necessary for a child to own a horse or pony, but they must have access to one to participate in many Pony Club activities. Programs are offered in dressage, eventing, show jumping, mounted games, tetrathlon, quiz, foxhunting, and polocrosse. During “unmounted” meetings members learn about feeding, shoeing, veterinary care, and other areas of horse management. Under adult supervision, the more experienced Pony Clubbers instruct and assist younger members. Pony Clubbers are encouraged to work their way through the nine stages of the progressive Standards of Proficiency, which test knowledge and riding ability. Pony Clubbers who attain the B, H-A, and A rating levels meet standards of competence that are recognized throughout the horse world.
Pony Club is run by volunteers and every club depends on the help of all its parents to keep the club running. There are many areas in which parent volunteer time is needed. Parents participate in many roles within the Club, such as helping with meetings, fund raisers, running rallies or clinics.
USPC is committed to safety. It is a membership requirement that Pony Clubbers wear a riding helmet which meets the ASTM/SEI standards and appropriate footwear when attending mounted meetings. Parents should be prepared to purchase these items and the minimum basic equipment, such as jodhpurs, gloves and Pony Club manuals, which provide the written information for Horse Management.