The Pony Club was formed in 1929 in response to a growing interest in riding and the care of horses and ponies. It is now the largest association for riders in the world with over 110,000 Members in more than 20 countries. At London 2012, 17 out of the 18 Team GB equestrian olympians took home a medal and all but three of the those medal winners started their training through the Pony Club.
The objectives of the Pony Club are:
- to encourage young people to ride and to learn to enjoy all types of sport connected with horses and riding.
- to provide instruction in riding and horsemanship and to instill in Members the proper care of ponies.
- to promote the highest levels of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, cultivating strength of character and self discipline.
There are 374 Branches for children who have their own ponies and approximately 500 Riding Schools running the Centre Membership Scheme in the UK.
Here at Kingston Riding Centre, we are proud to be part of the Pony Club Centre Membership Scheme where children can join the Pony Club without the necessity of owning their own pony. This allows children to progress their riding and stable management knowledge through the structure laid down in the Pony Club.
For the younger rider we have structured courses that cover stable management, care of the horse and the countryside and this allows Members to gain Achievement Badges. There are over 40 badges that may be awarded and members are encouraged to collect as many as possible and sew them on their Pony Club sweatshirts.
For the more confident rider we also run the Pony Club Efficiency Tests. This is the structure around which the Pony Club Training is based. The tests begin at a basic level (E) and progress until they may exempt the Members from being able to go on to various levels of professional qualification. These tests are internationally recognised standards of attainment and are also recognised by the British Horse Society. They can be used as the first stepping stones into entering qualifications within the horse industry.
The Pony Club format at Kingston Riding Centre is:
- 45 minutes of riding, with flat work and preparing to jump at Novice level, flat working and jumping at Intermediate level, and flat work, jumping and hacking at Advanced level.
- 45 minutes of stable management which covers the theory required for the Achievement Badges and preparation for the Pony Club Efficiency Tests.
The riding standard for all levels of Pony Club at Kingston Riding Centre is Walk/Trot/Canter. Any new members will need to complete the 8 week Kingston Riding Centre Helpers Course and demonstrate that they are confident to ride in a group lesson environment before going onto the waiting list. Our Pony Club instructors will also assess any prospective Member before they join.
Over the past few years demand has grown and we now have four Pony Club groups with the possibility of needing to start a another novice group. We have an Advanced and Intermediate club starting at 14:00 hours and a Novice club starting at 15:30 on Sundays and a mixed Advanced/Intermediate starting at 17:30 on Fridays.
Membership of the Pony Club is also required and further details can be found on http://www.pcuk.org/
If you require any information regarding Pony Club at Kingston Riding Centre please call the Centre on 020 8546 6361
Three of our Pony Club members are going to be representing Kingston Riding Centre at the Area Pony Club Dressage competition on Monday 27th October. Good luck