4-H vs. Pony Club - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-22-2012, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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4-H vs. Pony Club

My daughter has been in 4-H for 3 years and we are thinking of switching to Pony Club. We don't know anyone in Pony Club but we've had a number of people suggest it for my daughter and felt it may be a better fit for her. So now we are trying to learn more and will be contacting the local Pony Club soon.

Has anyone here had experience in both (or either) or know how they differ?
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-22-2012, 02:19 PM
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I've had experience in both. The first horse-riding-type group I was in was 4-H. I didn't have a very good time, and wasn't learning a whole awful lot, in comparison. There was less organization, and a lot more room for bad horsemanship.

I joined Pony Club last year, and I love it! I feel like in the one year that I've been in Pony Club, I've learned and advanced more than I have in the nine previous years of riding put together. ;) Pony Club really lays the foundation for good, well-rounded horsepeople with extensive knowledge. I also love the ratings, because it gives you these very viable goals, which get ACCOMPLISHED, if that makes sense. (:

Sorry if that's all gibberish! Oh, and I'm NOT trying to bash 4-H, just reiterating my own personal experience. (:

The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
I love you, Mudpie!

Last edited by mudpie; 09-22-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-22-2012, 03:29 PM
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I had bad experiences in both organizations. I was older when I joined pony club. I had a lovely horse (older mare who met my needs) every parent in that organization told me and my parents to sell that mare and buy a young horse. The idea was that we could "grow together". My parents rejected that idea because I was looking at continuing my education and they were not interested in having a young half broke horse. The kids in my area in pony club were pretty cut throat. In the end, if your daughter wants to join investigate the club near you. If she decides that its not what she wants then respect that. I have seen a lot of parents that are living through their kids in both 4H and pony club. This sucks the fun out of it for the kid. It sounds like your daughter is really interested in horses so let her take the reins on this so to speak.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-22-2012, 03:55 PM
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We don't have 4H in the UK but Pony Club is very influencial here. I was part of it for 4 years, but through a riding school seen as I didn't have a pony of my own, and I leart an incredible amount of stuff through doing the badges, and it was great fun! Myself and my best mate both went to PC and we know tonnes more than another horsey friend who has never been part of Pony Club, and tbh we are better horse people for it (find my previous thread about said friend buying a totally unsuitable hore etc), but I also out grew Pony Club eventually.

As long as your daughter is enjoying herself and learning correct things about horses, it shouldn't matter where or how she learns things, as long as she is learning. But also don't be worried if your daughter wants to leave after a few years, or feels she isn't learning anything more. Like I say, I left after 4 years, I gained all I felt I could in the current situation and looked to push myself further into the 'grown up' horsey world, so I took my British Horse Society Stage 1 exam (recognised equestrian standard in UK, not sure about US). Pony Club helped immensly to push me into the next stage, couldnt have done Stage 1 without it really!

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