feeling like i might not fit in at pony club? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-09-2014, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cornwall... :(
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feeling like i might not fit in at pony club?

I really want to join my local pony club so I can learn new skills etc.. but I am quite new to riding and the other members have been riding all their lives and are all best friends with each other. I feel like I wouldn't fit in at all but i know it would be really good to learn more skills and my mum also wants me to make new friends.
(P.S some of the girls there are really b*tchy, my friend stopped riding there because they bullied her non stop)
Thanks in advance,

(I don't think this is in the right section, so sorry!)
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-09-2014, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
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Hey girl,
If there is one thing about the horseworld, it'll help you develop a tougher skin. There will ALWAYS be people who have more expensive horses, more expensive gear, better trained than you. And there will ALWAYS be people who want to let you, and everyone else, know about it.

You have to think whether you're going to rise above it, make the most of PC and learn what you can, or whether you walk away.

I'd say go for it. What have you got to lose? Chin up, go in with a smile and make friends. If they're going to hang around in gangs, just carry on with your own thing and let things take a natural pace until you all start communicating. You can't force people to be your friends, but you'll still have a pony to ride.

Do what ever makes you happy, at the end of the day!
DuffyDuck is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 04-09-2014, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Indiana
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You never know until you try! Maybe it won't be your thing, but maybe you'll really enjoy it.

What I've learned in my 48 years on Earth is this: It's better to try something and fail, than to live with the regret of never having tried. It's better to say, "I did that, and it's just not my thing," than to wonder if it might have been something that you would have excelled at.

My vote is: Go for it! And have fun!

Vive equo
TrailTraveler is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 04-09-2014, 10:28 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Louisiana
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I did pony club when I was in high school, and I never really "fit in". I enjoyed it for what it was and never tried to be best buds with everyone. I started riding when I was 11, and took lessons until we bought my horse when I was 15. I joined pony club at around that time. There were basically two groups of people in the club- those between my age and 4 years older than me, and younger (lower and middle school) girls. I didn't jump, hadn't competed heavily in my younger days, and wasn't one of the "grand" riders, so I didn't really fit in with the older girls. Had I turned the clock back four years I probably would have gotten on great with the younger girls as a new, young rider, but I didn't exactly enjoy spending all of my time with 8-12 year olds. I went to the meetings, was stable manager at a few rallies, and did some great clinics with the group. It was definitely worth my time and taught me a lot, but I didn't make any lifetime friends doing it.

There was also another local pony club group, but it was very small and basically only had a few main members including one of my best friends. When I decided to join the barn owner, my trainer, the lady at my barn that ran my club, and everyone else pushed me into joining the "bigger, better" club. I probably got more out of it than I would have from the smaller club, but probably would have enjoyed the smaller one better. Since then, I think the bigger club moved to a town an hour or so away when the lady that ran it got her own property. I don't know for sure, but I think the smaller one sort of fizzled out. Sad times for pony club around here

Moral of the story: Give it a try. Even if you don't fit in, you can still get some great instruction from pony club. Try it for a year, and if it isn't what you wanted then you don't need to come back next year.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-09-2014, 10:51 AM
Join Date: May 2012
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I tried it in high school. I did not fit in at all. I was/am a trail rider I like my horse but I was never deluded enough to think I would be able to make a living at horses or be a champion horse trainer/rider. I had different values than a lot of the girls there. They wanted to "trade" up there horse and a few years riding a horse was considered great. There was no thought or did not seem to be much for sending one horse to auction when the riders talents out matched it, but would send me all sort of things to sign to "protest horse slaughter". I was the only member who volunteered to help set up the jumps and arena the day before the show. It was me at age 16 and everyone else's mother, which in hindsight seems weird. I just had a different world view on horses and the way horses should be used.

In the end, I gave it a year and decided it was not the riding scene for me. I had a great time at my college equestrian team, but it was a group of all experience level folks taking lessons, putting together shows and having potlucks. I like the social element of horse activities but I don't like the competitive element.

My advice, is that you give it six months to a year. It takes about three months to "meet" people and know if you will be friends. In the end, if the people or social dynamic is not what you want than don't worry. Pony club in high school is combining all the social weirdness of high school with the social weirdness of equine people and it can either be awesome or horrible.

There are lots of ways to make friends in horses outside of pony club. If you are interested in a breed or an activity you can try to join clubs focused on that. Like a breed club or a trail riding society. They will be all age members but sometimes just because you are in high school does not mean that you get along with high school people mentally.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-10-2014, 02:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Zealand
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When I was much younger I begged and begged my parents to buy me a horse and let me join the local pony club and I'm actually really glad they said no because after spending time there with a friend who was a member it was definitely not my scene. It was very competitive and for a person who only rode for the fun of it I don't know if I would have enjoyed it - the girls were not friendly and very clicky.
That said I'm sure every club is different and as an adult rider now I would probably find it to be a completely different experience as none of that stuff would bother me now.
Its definitely worth a go and if you are able to let all of the negative aspects roll off your back you could really enjoy yourself. Certainly only do it for yourself though and perhaps you could explain it to your mum that you would be doing it to further your riding/have access to the facilities and not just a way to make friends.
Not sure where you live but maybe you could look at starting a riding group in your area by advertising at the local tack shop, that way you can meet like-minded people to ride with who you can learn from but in a more relaxed situation.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-10-2014, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: california
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if you dont want to join the pony club, is there a barn around that offers lessons ?
You would be learning and maybe even meet a few friends that way.
Things are done differently in this part of the USA than in your part of the world.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-10-2014, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cornwall... :(
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I already take lessons at the same barn where the club is held, the lessons are great but the only way to learn proper care etc is to join the club, its the only barn that has suitable and safe facilities in like a 30 mile radius of me, plus I have a really bad habit of letting anything negative bring me down.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-10-2014, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
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One of life's lessons is to learn to not let the small things get at you. Everyone goes through it, and some are better at it than others.

I would still advise giving it a go, but right now you seem to have a very negative view of it. Think of all the positives, and how much you can learn. Start off at pony club, and think of your BHS levels you can eventually go through. Riding is only a small part of horse ownership. You have to make the decision of whether your love and passion for horses outweighs what other people may think or say.

I started at a "teen club". They were all in a massive clique. I came in on my families massive, silly ginger mare and got dumped the first day. We had gymkhana games, they'd all chosen school ponies rather than their own horses. They hadn't told me this was possible, but the last race.. get to the top of the school as fast as you can, dismount and run back with your horse. In my eagerness (and being in the lead) I dismounted whilst my horse was still cantering, landed on my backside and Josie tanked around the school. There was that awkward pause where people were waiting to see if I was injured, and I was waiting to see if they'd laugh with me, or at me. I laughed because I thought it was hysterical and it hurt so much, and they laughed with me.. we became firm friends.

It's what you make of it!
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-10-2014, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cornwall... :(
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I think i will join the club.... in about 6 months! I really want to improve my riding (and my self confidence) first, but at the moment, I don't think I'm ready for all the barn drama!
Thanks for all your advice guys!
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