| Benefits of joining Pony Club
- Children as young as 3 years old can experience and enjoy all kinds of activities connected with ponies and riding.
- Until the age of 25 years members can receive instruction in riding, horse mastership, care of horses and different equine sports.
- Members learn life skills as they develop confidence, respect, empathy and assertivenes.
- They can earn achievement badges, take internationally recognised efficiency tests and compete in competitions.
We offer two types of Membership
- Branch Membership is for children who have regular access to a pony that they can take to Pony Club events, such as Working Rallies and Shows.
- Centre Membership is for children who prefer to go to a Riding School to ride. Rallies are arranged at the stable yard, so that members need not travel in order to have fun and learn.
Membership is open to all boys and girls from the age of about six or seven until they turn 18 years old. Members who are over 18, or who have been Pony Club members in the past, may continue or join as Associate Members until they turn 25.
Parents who would like their children to become Pony Club members must fill in the standard Application Form, pay the annual subscription fee, and sign an Indemnity Form, which must be given to the District Commissioner of the branch you wish to join.
- Through instructional education based rallies… to ride safely, confidently and be in control on happy horses and ponies at all times.
- Through fun-filled activities… to make friends who share a love of horses at rallies, camps, quiz nights and more.
- Through teamwork… to participate in competitive and non-competitive activities as a dependable and enthusiastic team member.
- Through horse care… to give horses and ponies the care, treatment and training that will make them happy, healthy friends and partners.
- Through teaching others… to share knowledge and experience with younger and less experienced Pony Club members.
- Through exposure to as many exciting horse sports as possible… to sample a range of different disciplines, such as eventing, show jumping, dressage, and mounted games.
- Through advancement… to gain self-esteem and expertise while achieving the various achievement badges and by progressing through the different levels of proficiency tests
- Annual membership fee. There is a joining fee of R50, which includes a metal membership badge. Subs are R200 for first child, R180 for second child and R160 for subsequent children. This includes a national levy of R50 and a regional levy of R50 per member per year. These are the standard fees that will apply from September 2010.
- Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship. Members need their own copy of the Manual, which covers all aspects of theory for the entire Pony Club syllabus. This is available through branches for about R270.
- Branch T-shirt. Members will also have to have basic clothing. The most important item is a riding hat that meets Pony Club safety standards (much safer to have your own as you never know if a borrowed one has been damaged in a fall), plus members will need jodhpurs and shoes with a low heel. For informal rally wear, each branch has its own T-shirt or golf shirt. For formal outings and tests, children will need a white shirt and Pony Club tie (R30)
- Payment for rallies. Most rallies are entirely free. Some carry a token charge to cover administrative costs of a visiting lecturer or specialist. However, rallies may be held at a venue that has a ground levy or the Committee may wish to give a visiting instructor a ‘thank-you’ gift and so will ask for a small contribution from members. Most Pony Clubs run fund-raising events throughout the year which go a huge way towards keeping costs down, so please do support these efforts.
| Does my child need a pony
There are many activities that do not require a pony, such as practical and theoretical horse and pony care and acquiring achievement badges, and various outings. However, to fully participate in the mounted aspects, members should have access to a horse or pony through a riding stables, or borrowing or sharing a pony, or entering into a half or full-lease of a pony in the area where the branch holds its mounted rallies.
| What Branch should my child join
It is usual to join the branch nearest to where you live or where your child rides or stables his or her pony or horse. Should you move, you may apply for a transfer to another branch.
| How much time does it take
Pony Club is run by a group of volunteers, so the more people who get involved the less work everyone has to do. That said, it all depends on the size of the club and what sort of rally is planned as to how much help is required. Most rallies tend to be two to three hours. Others might well take a lot longer. An efficient committee will benefit by having a group of parents it knows it can call on when necessary, so don’t be shy about volunteering your time or expertise or just helping out when asked. You don’t have to be ‘horsey’ – typing up an inspection sheet or looking after the finances could release someone else to do a more hands-on job. And hands on might just mean helping to carry poles or raise the height of the jumps or even catering.
As parents you can learn by helping with inspections, attending achievement badge instruction, mounted rallies and unmounted evenings.
Branches should hold a rally each month. There will also be a number of other get-togethers throughout the year where the involvement of parents is appreciated. These range from the AGM and annual prize giving to fund-raising efforts.
Children are encouraged to attend as many rallies as possible but Pony Club knows life is hectic and accepts that members will have school and social commitments that clash with some Pony Club events. The old adage, the more you put in, the more you get out, encapsulates the spirit of Pony Club, so encourage your child to be a supportive and enthusiastic member and get involved yourself – you’ll be surprised at what fun you and your child can have!