United States Pony Club?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Crazyland, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Crazyland

    Crazyland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sandhills NC
    Since we have such a broad range of people here I thought to ask.
    I want to get lessons for my kids. My oldest is 9 so she can start now and my next one will be 5 in the spring so she can start for her bday.

    Has anyone been in this group? Did you like it? Was it to much $ or well worth every penny?

    We don't have a pony yet. I don't know anything about caring for them other than how to get on and ride western saddle. I have the land and want some in the future but think this is a good start for my kids to learn and have fun.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Lessons is good. 9 is a good age to start riding lessons; 6 is usually too young to really learn to 'ride' as such, but they can learn to become comfortable on a horse and it's good fun.

    Pony Club is really a sort of whole different thing, though. It's mostly for kids who have their own horses/ponies (or lease them; although there are occasionally barns that make lesson horses available for USPC activities, it's pretty rare to find one) and have been riding for a while and are getting into showing and that sort of thing. And whose parents have trailers and free time LOL

    I'd say, do weekly lessons for a year or two, see how they like it, then you can think about whether you want to (or can) get more seriously into the whole horse-owning and showing thing, Pony Club or otherwise.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Benelli

    Benelli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may want to try the sister page, Backyardherds.com.
     
  4. SoCalChick

    SoCalChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good for you for asking! (so many parents dont) I'm a trainer here in California. Pony Club is a great way to start. So many riding instructors/trainers out there dont have a clue - but Pony Club is a great start and your children will learn to have fun with horses and learn the responsibility that comes with them.
    Some clubs can get pricey - but you children will learn and not just get "pony rides".
    Feel free to PM me if you have any other q's.
     
  5. Kanchii

    Kanchii Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was in Pony Club for 5 years, eventually left because of the drama (my leader was crazy, you'll probably have better luck, hah!) but I think it's the best thing you could do. Pony club doesn't just give lessons, the kids have to actually LEARN about horses too to get their ratings! What they eat, anatomy, ailments, ect. By the time you're ranked A, you're one of the best riders in the country and know as much if not more than a vet! They make learning fun, you can even do tetrathalon (swimming, running, shooting, riding). Great friends to be made, I haven't been in Pony club (or even riding) for several years and some of my best friends are those that I made in the club! It's not expensive, you usually only pay for your lessons and then for the occasional rally (I think they are usually around $100) and you'll have to get correct helmet, boots, pants, and half chaps. Pony club mainly focuses around eventing (stadium jumping, cross country jumping, and dressage) but some clubs might focus on something else, but to get your higher ratings you have to pass the requirements in all three eventing styles (so you WILL have to jump for your rating even if you want to focus on dressage or something).

    Definitely recommend it.
     
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    I was in pony club but that was nearly forty years ago and it was on a tiny island in the Carribean, on scrawny island ponies, but we had very high caliber instructors and two very well organized groups on our island with a high compettetive spirit. From what I have heard, the quality of leadership and instruction varies greatly from club to club. Do your homework. I would even advertise on craigslist to ask for feedback on your local Pony Club leaders and instructors. That would probably give you the most unfiltered feedback you could possibly get anywhere. Good luck getting started, and stay safe!
     
  7. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Also, you might want to look into horse 4-H clubs. Many clubs will take members even if they do not have horses. I always had a horse when I was younger, but I spent about 10 years in horse 4-H and learned a ton. Our club always held activities that everyone could participate in, even if you did not have a horse.

    I'm not familiar with pony club, but if your kids want to ride western, then 4-H might be a better option.
     
  8. Crazyland

    Crazyland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sandhills NC
    There is only one stable offering pony club, the rest only offer lessons or pony rides, that I have found. The place also provided the pony for the kids if needed.
    I live in a great area as we have the Carolina Horse Park right up the road. I drive past it every day. So lots of equine activities for the future if they do well in the beginning.
    The fact that they learned about the horse and not just to ride is what appealed to me.

    I'll check the sister site out. Thanks. [​IMG]
    I will see about the 4-H too.
     
  9. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    I would wait till they really get into riding but I would get the Pony Club They go D,c and then B and A are one book.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It is actually not-uncommon for lesson programs to include "learning about the horse" stuff, IME, and in any case there are books and kids can ask questions and hang around (once they're old enough) and learn more.

    I would suggest picking the lesson program independant of any USPC issues, if the kids want to get into Pony Club once they are no longer just starting out you can certainly change if necessary, but it is really important IMHO that you pick a lesson program that you are happy with. There is a lot of variation out there, both in quality of instruction, safety (no matter what certification the instructor may have), the nature of what the kids are learning and doing, the appropriateness of the horses and facilities, and (do not discount this!) the instructor's "fit" to your kids' personality and your personality. Some kids -- also some parents <g> -- do best in a 'lets hang out on horses and have fun' atmosphere, some do better in an environment that is more rigid, some need/want to be pushed, some need to be handled very gently, etc.

    So I'd suggest you observe some beginner lessons, from the actual instructor your kids would be under, and make your decision based on that. Pony Club is not really a big issue at this point in time [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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