Thinking about Pony Club
I was thinking about joining Pony Club. Can anyone tell me about Pony Club, and how it works, and what it's like to be in it? Thanks :)
I was in it once, but stopped getting the subscriptions after my year was up. Once you sign up, they will send you an issue every month. With your first subscription to them, usually they send you some little cool gifts as thanks for joining. However, you must be sure that you send in a special coupon to them every month after that. They give you the coupon and show you on the other page of the magazine, what next month's package has in it. If you do not want the package of horse things they are going to send you next month, send them back that coupon.
Usually they have a horse watch or clock, a poster, and a book in the package or something along those lines. And if you dont send in the coupon, they will charge you $20 I think for the package of things they sent you. So be sure to send in that coupon back to them if you do not want the package for the next month. Other than that, its pretty interesting. I buy horse magazines however from just any store now.
Wait. I thought Pony Club was kind of like 4H??
Either way theres my output xD my bad if thats not what your talking about.
I know a lot of people who really enjoy it and have been in it for a very long time, but I think it's something you have to join when you're young and you really, really need to agree with their rules and ideals. I joined earlier this year, I'm 17, and at first it was fun. It was unmounted meetings which are about basic care and first aid and things like that. I learned a bit but not much and figured riding and competing would be more fun, however I found it to be even worse. Almost everyone in pony club was under 12 and the other two girls who were my age never showed up so it really just wasn't enjoyable as I didn't have anyone my age to socialize with.
I only went to one competition and it was to be honest, awful. All the people were very catty and just rude. I also wasn't allowed to do certain things because my rating wasn't high enough, you have to start at the very lowest rating and can only go up two levels a year no matter your age or experience and that was just annoying. I found a lot of their rules to be ridiculous.
That being said, there are a lot of people I know that enjoy it. I suggest finding a local pony club and going to a few of their meetings and competitions to get a feel of it before you join. Also, if you can see if you can get a few reliable friends to join with you, that would be make it way more fun.
Pony club for me has been a great learning experience before joining a more "sophisticated" showing world such as EFA ( Equestrian Federation Australia ). Here, the age group is quite large it varies from seven to people in their twenties and from what I have found the pony club world is more of a female world then males have I have not come across many boys in my travels.
I compete a fair bit through pony club and find it very good and a great learning experience for both me and my horse. I like the way it is set up because you have coaches at the pony club and many other members who are able to offer you a hand when needed, it also depends on the club. Some clubs around here are very catty but I've found the one I go to is lovely and I've made some excellent friends though it.
I love my Pony Club lol.
Have been going for 2 years and this year will be my 3rd probably my last :(
I'm turning 18 this year and still love it.
I find its really helpful, I have learnt some things I just wouldn't of if I didn't go, I say go for it try it out :)
They usually let you have a trial period where you just have to pay for insurance.
Pony Club can be really helpful, but i think the US one is a bit different to the British/Australian one.
I'll give you a little run down of what generally happens (at least at an Australian club - i've been a member of 3 different ones).
Generally a club services an area, and the club is part of a region called a zone. Once a month the club will have a rally day. Often these days will have themes. Each rider brings their own horse and is then grouped by age and ability. Each group will go off with a different instructor for a session. There are usually 3 sessions a day, the morning are often more theory like dressage, rhythm for jumping, turns for sporting etc, where as the afternoons are often more practical with actual sporting, jumping, mounted games etc. Sometimes morning session will be a theory session. Each session is usually with a different instructor.
In addition to rally days there are competitions and camp. Pony Club is an English riding club, while they may have a few different things the primary riding style, theory and tack is English. Competitions are held in most areas but there seems to be an emphasis on eventing, mounted games and showing/gymkhanas. Each club in the zone usually holds an annual gymkhana and other event and members from other clubs in the zone come to compete.
Camp is very fun and is basically a whole week of instruction with a 'troop'.
PC has certificates for horsemanship which you work your way through as you get older, and grading certificates for SJ and eventing.
It can be fun but there are a lot of rules and you have to do things their way, but the rules are generally pretty reasonable. You can receive good, basically free instruction but the quality of teaching varies as the instructors are volunteers. It is good to start young and be part of the community to make friends and learn. A parent will be expected to help out.
Some clubs focus on different disciplines so if there are a few around your area search for one that suits you.
Once you hit 17 you become an associate member. You can still do everything but generally don't. I'm an associate but i mainly help out with camp and rally days rather than riding, although associates still compete.
I recommend you go have a look at one unmounted and see if it looks fun, and if it does become a member. You can get a lot out of it.
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