What exactly IS Pony Club? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Red face What exactly IS Pony Club?

So, I was thinking of joining pony club with Luca, but I really don't know ALL about it. *Loads of kids and teens here in NZ do it, and I've already visited their website, and my parents have agreed that when Luca has all his basics (walk, trot, canter, controlled gallop, lower level jumping) sorted out, we are allowed to join pony club. However, I don't have that much information about it, the only things I know are:*
- there are rallies once a week*
- you can do dressage rallies, showjumping rallies or cross country rallies.
- there are ribbon days (which are probably perfect for me, since I've never shown before and I'm a bit of a chicken :P)*

And...that's all I know.*So can someone please tell me ALL about Pony Club, so that I can see whether I really should do it or not?

Thanks! :)

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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And I have no idea why there are those stars in my text. I didn't put them there

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-11-2013, 04:42 PM
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The PC is a youth organisation that began un the UK around 1928. It remained a UK 'thing' until, I believe after WW2 and from there branches were opened i Australia and NZ and many other parts of the world.
In the UK it is open from any age up to 22 years and areas and divided into branches in each area.

The purpose of the PC is to educate children on care of the horse, improve their riding as well as having many inter branch competitions.

Rallies can be mounted or unmounted and you do not have to have your own horse to be a member.

All in all it is well worth joining. There might be a small fee for rallies with an instructor but generally most do the teaching for free - usually because they got a lot out of the PC. I know I did!
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-11-2013, 04:46 PM
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The Pony Club was one of the biggest influences on my riding and horse keeping - mainly because I listened better to them than I did to my family!!!
A lot of people can be put off by thinking its going to be snooty but I am the least snooty person I know - I scrub up good for a show but the rest of the time comfort comes first!!!
Its not all about formal stuff either as I did pony club gymkhana - that taught me how to really ride!!!
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-11-2013, 08:39 PM
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I only know about the Australian pony club but I am guess it's similar to NZ.

Like Foxhunter said, it began in the UK and branched here but now our organisations are independent.

Pony Club is separated into clubs that span a certain area. Often they hold "rally days" once or twice a month, sometimes more or less, it's at the discretion of the individual club. It functions on it's own in the way that it usually elects it's own president, chief instructor, secretary and treasurer (and more) and these people are usually parents, or old members. Each club is a bit different. Some focus on dressage or jumping or eventing or mounted games, or it might just be a casual mix. Some really focus on the traditional pony club side, with troop drills where others seem to forget it. Some are quite elitist where as others are really laid back.

Each club is a member of a "zone" which is a larger area usually consisting of about 5 - 20 clubs. While each rally is attended only by club members, gymkhanas (competition days run by an individual club) are usually attended by other zone clubs. The zone will also have elected officials, and often competitions that zone members must qualify for. So at individual club's competitions the winners may gain points, or there might be "qualifiers" and then they can compete in the "zone" championship, and the winners of that may go on to state competitions competing for their zones.

The great thing about pony club is it's for everyone. There are people who are only led at the walk or trot, up to people who are jumping and cantering and competing. So it's up to you when you go but you don't have to do any of those things before going. Raw beginners can go.

Pony Club offers very cheap instruction from a range of people, opportunities to try new things and meet new people.

They are a bit funny with tack/gear, so make sure all your stuff is up to standard when you go. Correctly fitting tack, including bits. All leather in good conditions. Proper ankle riding boots, with a finger space in the stirrups. All stitching in good nick (I've seen gear checkers literally rip the stitching out of stirrup leathers), helmet. Also saddles must have stirrups bars and at least two girth points. That rules out pretty much all westerns and some stock saddles.

The best thing to bring is a good attitude. Sometimes they'll do things you like and things you don't like, some instructors you'll like others you won't. Sometimes there will be groups perfect for your level, and other times you'll be doing things that aren't really up to your skill. It's a great club to be a part of though.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-12-2013, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Do you HAVE to have ANKLE riding boots? Because I only have the tall ones that go up to under your knee.

What about the horses? Can they be barefoot, do they need boots?

Thanks for the advice!

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-12-2013, 09:00 PM
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You can only wear long boots in competition once you're an associate (over 17), otherwise you MUST wear ankle boots. Rally days they will sometimes let you wear long boots or gaiters/half chaps depending on the club. One of my old clubs would let you wear half chaps sometimes, but some days they would demand all riders take them off to practice riding without (you'd be surprised how many people can't ride in short boots without leg protection).

Pony Club is really safety conscious which is why they have short boots which should slip off if you were to fall and get your foot stuck in the stirrup.

Horses can be barefoot and no sort of leg wear is required, however some chief instructors will ask to check your horses feet prior to a lot of work (like a week long camp) if they are unshod.

These are the Australian rules though.

Last edited by Saskia; 06-12-2013 at 09:04 PM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-12-2013, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ugh so that means I need to save up for some short boots
Oh well...

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 05:16 AM
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Its been a few years since I have been, NZ Pony Club as far as I know does not make someone wear jodphur boots or long boots based on age for rallies. General rule of thumb is hacks = long boots, ponies = jodphur boots. Mostly so long as your boots are made for riding in they are accepted at a basic pony club level. Its only ESNZ and dressage it may be an issue. If you are just planning to go to pony club I would not worry about it too much. As for waiting to have a few skills before going, the idea is to teach you those skills. You may find some things may seem wierd as pony club ways are not professional yard ways and often something you learn from a trainer or working in a yard or from youtube for that matter could be frowned upon. The idea is to enjoy yourself and get out there and give it a go.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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For Australia Pony Club - do you need to own your own horse to join?

Horses lend us the wings we lack;

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