Anyone ever been in Pony Club?
So...being the old geezer I am now, I have aged out of 4-H :cry: no more horse or poultry project for me. bah humbug.
I heard something awhile back about Pony club, and that you can be in that still at my age. I googled it. :-P And, we have a chapter up here.
I've seen kids at county fair from pony cub, but other than that..Haven't heard anything about it. How does it work? Has anyone here been involved in it? Is it similar to 4-H? I'm very intreuged. Was it a positive experience?
I'm also very intruged to find out that my university (where city kids abound) just formed a rodeo team, as well. But that's a different matter. And I'm not a good enough rider to get into that sort of thing.
I should get off the computer now...Before I ask any more dumb questions :-|
They aren't dumb questions. I don't know where you live, and I now that the US is a bit different than other countries, but I did Pony club for a number of years. You age out when you hit 21 I believe. I know here they do riding as well as stable management. We had two weekly lessons, one was just riding in the middle of the week, the other was stable management for an hour, and then riding for an hour. They do cross country, stadium jumping, gymnastics, flat, and dressage, and we would rotate every week. There are different ratings, starting with D-1, which is very basic horsemanship. I learned a lot in Pony Club, and had a lot of fun. They teach you how to do first aid, how to teach lessons, training techniques, nutrition, breeding ect. Give you a wide range of knowledge which is great. They do rally's where you go and show with your team of 4 riders. I think it is a great way to learn with a bunch of other kids, but the lessons are not quite as tailored to YOU individually, so I personally also took private lessons as well. I would encourage you to go talk to the kids in your area who are involved, and see what they say, and maybe watch a lesson or two, see if you like the trainers, and would be interested in joining. Good luck.
Oh gosh! I loved Pony Club! It was the most fun ever. The South African Pony Club is based on the British Pony Club, so you have your ability tests. I did up to my B+ but never got the certificate because I failed the farriery section. Then never got a chance to finish because of work and stuff. That really sucked :(
The pony club I was part of was one of the bigger ones in my area, and we'd have rallies at least twice a month - not always riding though, since most of us had our own instructers, so usually it would be more lecture-type things where we'd go over stable management and the like.
Every year our pony club hosted Interbranch, which is where clubs from across the province all came together for competition - that was awesome. We'd have upwards of around 1000 horses and ponies all in one place, competing in Show Jumping, Equitation, Eventing and Dressage, over about 7 days. I've got some pictures lurking about somewhere I'll try find them.
I think Pony Club is the best thing for kids to get into, it teaches so much about horses and riding and caring for horses, as well as things like team work. I don't know anything about 4-H, but that sounds pretty fun too. I do know we don't have it here:)
In the US, we also do pony club based off the british pony club, but obviously some things are done a bit differently. It was definitely fun, and I made some lifelong friends that I still talk to and occasionally go riding with, but wouldn't have known them otherwise. It definitely tests your skills, and you learn a whole lot. In the USA, we also have the Pony Club Nationals, generally split east coast and west coast, but every few years I guess they would get both coasts together in Kentucky, and do a huge show. I qualified in one of my last years of pony club, and got to go compete in Kentucky, our Knowdown team made 9th place in the nation, I happened to go the year it was held in Kentucky, which was awesome. One of the best experiences I've had.
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