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This set of Question and Answers came as part of the educational process on the Specialty Certifications that became an option for member as of January 1, 2007.
Q. My region has several C-3 members who received their certifications before the advent of Specialty Ratings. Do they need to take the H-B before they can take their B certification?
No; all C-3 members who have received their certification as of July 31, 2007 are exempt from the H-B.
Q. One of my members failed her B this summer. Does this mean she has to go back and take her H-B before she can re-apply for the B?
No; she is still considered a C-3, and will follow the progression above.
Q. I have a C-2 member who wants to take her H-B and C-3 Dressage Specialty rating next year. Can she take both in the same year?
Yes, she can take both tests as there are no longer waiting periods between testings. After she receives her C-3 Dressage, it is also possible for the candidate to take her Dressage B without a waiting period.
*She may also take her C-3 Riding test before her H-B test. Some Regions have expressed interest in holding H-B/C-3 Riding tests before August 1st. Regional Supervisors should contact the Instruction Department for more information.
Q. Why isn't the H-B candidate required to Longe or Bandage? I thought these were a very important part of Pony Club Horse Management.
ALL the bandaging and longeing requirements of the C-3 and B levels are tested at the riding portion of the tests so that the candidate may handle his/her own horse (as opposed to the H-A, where candidates handle strange horses). The H-B has been designed as a one-day test. Because a candidate is not required to take a horse to this rating, the candidate has extra flexibility in scheduling when he/she wishes to take the test. Candidates from Regions with inclement winter weather may select to study during the winter and take early H-Bs, while those Regions with very hot summers may want to take riding tests first, then the H-B when it's too hot to ride.
Q. We have a C-3 member who wishes to take his B Dressage Specialty certification. May he apply for that now?
No; members may move laterally through the ratings or vertically, but not diagonally. If he wishes to take the B Dressage, he must first pass the C-3 Dressage. By reviewing the Dressage Specialty Standards, it is evident how much more skill the C-3 Dressage candidate must be able to demonstrate that of the Traditional C-3 candidate. The same holds true with the Show Jumping Specialty Standards. Your member may move vertically up to the Traditional B, then laterally to the Dressage B if he wishes. The candidate does not move down to begin a specialty; just vertically or laterally.
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Q. Will an H-A be required to go back to take the C-3 Dressage Specialty test?
No; that candidate may proceed laterally to the B Dressage Specialty. The riding requirements of an H-A were those of the B level, therefore the lateral move is possible.
Q. Could a candidate take a C-3 Show Jumping Specialty test and B Show Jumping test on the same weekend?
That's a very good question, and it would depend upon how the test was scheduled. Because there is no waiting requirement between the levels, a Region could request to schedule back-to-back tests, which would allow candidates to take both tests. The same would hold true for Dressage Specialty ratings. Back-to-back tests might be VERY advantageous for those candidates with advanced experience in Show Jumping and/or Dressage.
Q. I'm trying to set the testing dates for my region. Can a region hold an H-B and a C-3 Dressage Specialty rating on the same weekend?
Yes. Members may apply for both at the same time.
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Q. If our Region does not host the H-B/C-3 Riding tests, will our members be allowed to attend the test in another Region?
Any Pony Club member may attend H-B/C-3 certifications in another Region. Testing dates, locations and contact people will be listed on the USPC Web Site. For application procedures, refer to the "Testing Information for National Testings” page of the H-B/C-3 or Specialty Standards. Additionally, a Region has the opportunity to administer both the H-B and C-3 Riding test(s). Contact the Instruction Department for more information.
Q. Who are the Specialty Examiners?
Depending upon the level being tested, Specialty Examiners will have experience teaching and competing at a level considerably beyond that which they are testing. Some will be equine professionals with either a Pony Club background or those who are supportive of Pony Club ideals. Many of our current National Examiners are very proficient in these Specialties.
Q. Does a current C-3 need to complete the Horse Management requirements of the ‘old' B Standard before proceeding to the B level tests?
No; the Horse Management portion of the old C-3 and B tests has been restructured into a more ‘hands-on' test, which may be completed in one day without the necessity (and expense!) of taking a horse to the testing. While there is more information required on this test, the level of understanding expected is much more practical. Members should be able to use their daily knowledge of horse care and be successful. Over the years the C-3 had grown increasingly more difficult until it was very similar to the B test already. In this instance, the Instruction Council felt it was best to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt and allow him/her to move on to the B-level tests without testing the additional information.
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Q. We have two current A members in our Region who are interested in Specialty certifications. What tests can they take?
Your A members may move laterally to either A Dressage and/or A Show Jumping. Or, should they be riding green horses, they could choose to take a Specialty test at a lower level and progress at a later date. For example, a member could attain the Traditional A, a B Dressage, and also a C-3 Show Jumping certification.
Q. Can a region hold a Dressage C-3 and Dressage Traditional on the same day?
A region may host a C-3 Dressage test and a traditional C-3 on the same day at an appropriate facility. Great idea! They will remain two separate tests and at this time we will provide you with the specialty examiners for your tests. For quality control we feel that it is necessary to send the examiners at this level for the specialties. It may change after we help to assure the specialty ratings are standardized and off to a good start.
Q. One very puzzling aspect of the Specialty Certifications is the elimination of the presentation of the horse and rider for a formal turn out at the B level. Is the ability of a candidate to turn out themselves and their mounts no longer considered important? Do our B candidates now show up for these tests just dressed in a workman like attire, such as, a polo shirt? What is the reasoning for eliminating this part of the testing?
Once C-3 candidates have proven they can do a spit polished formal turn out, they will demo it only at competitions. The directives sent to the B candidates will advise them to be well turned out with workmanlike attire (polos, britches, helmet and boots). They will be told to report to their first ride of the test with the bandages on the horse and the examiners will take a quick look at the horse and tack for safety and cleanliness. At the H-B test, examiners will have covered the orals that usually take place at turnout. In any rating, examiners have the right to ask any question from preceding tests and may choose to do that if the proper adjustment of tack or cleanliness is not demonstrated by the candidate. The Testing Committee would like to give this a try. If it is not effective, we will put the presentation back into the B test, which will further extend the time for a test.