Who We Are
U.S. Pony Clubs started in 1954 to teach the English style of riding and the proper care of horses. It is an offshoot of the British Pony Club, which was created in 1929 as a junior branch of the Institute of the Horse. Since then, Pony Club has expanded to many countries around the world. The main purpose is to promote sportsmanship, stewardship and leadership through horsemanship.
In the last decade, U.S. Pony Clubs has made an effort to strengthen its program to meet the needs of today's horse involved youth. This has included, raising the age of graduation from 21 to 25, offering Pony Club through an established riding lesson business, expanding certifications to include the disciplines of Dressage and Show Jumping, bringing in Western disciplines, and including land conservation in the Standards of Proficiency. Please join us as we continue our mission of developing character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in our youth, thereby developing strong leaders for tomorrow.
Our Core Values
orsemanship with respect to healthcare, nutrition, stable management, handling and riding a mount safely, correctly and with confidence
rganized teamwork including cooperation, communication, responsibility, leadership, mentoring, teaching and fostering a supportive yet competitive environment
espect for the horse and self through horsemanship; for land through land conservation; and for others through service and teamwork
ervice by providing an opportunity for members, parents, and others to support the Pony Club program locally, regionally and nationally through volunteerism
ducation at an individual pace to achieve personal goals and expand knowledge through teaching others
The USPC Program is available to and accessible by a wide and diverse range of youth through multiple means of delivery
• Multiple forms of membership
• Fully enabled by technology
• Marketed to multiple audiences
• Recognized and recognizable nationwide
• Trained and Capable volunteers
as of 12/31/2013
Individuals Volunteering -
|512 Pony Clubs
||75 Pony Club Riding Centers
||72 Horsemasters Groups|
All serving over 10,000 Youth (ages 4 - 25) and Adult members, and the number above does not include the numerous volunteers who are not on record at the National Office. With a staff of under 20, Pony Club is truly a volunteer run organization - thank you to everyone who makes this program possible!
|325 at the National Level
|| 298 at the Regional Level
||2,363 at the Local Level |
Safety: Pony Club has always been a leader in the area safety. Pony Club was the first organization to require helmets to be worn. Today we continue that commitment through our Safety Committee, which reviews all incident reports, recommends to the Board safety procedures and policies, and educates our members, parents and leaders about working safely around horses. Policy 125. In addition, background checks are required for Pony Club leaders and additional training for leaders in youth protection is available.
Diversity: Pony Club was formed with the understanding that it was to be a supplement to whatever formal lesson program a member may be involved in and that for some, participation in Pony Club may be the only structured instruction a member may receive. Pony Club has been dedicated to keeping dues and fees as low as possible, so that cost should not be a prohibition to any child wishing to participate. Our goal is have a broad base to allow any child with an interest in horses to be able to participate. Policy 110.
Over the past half a decade the Pony Club has touch the lives of more than 100,000 individuals. Our alumni have taken the skills they developed through the Pony Club program and many have gone on to make notable achievements in their professional lives whether in the equestrian industry or the "outside" world. And regardless of their profession, over 65% of our alumni continue to be involved with horses, whether just for pleasure, local competition, or in a professional capacity.
Enjoy this slide show that was created to run at the Pony Club headquarters in Lexington, KY, during the Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.
Our Graduates are helping to spread the word about the Pony Club program by participating in the "Proud Graduate" Campaign. Learn more.
Pony Club Alumni Olympian List
The Meaning of Pony Club: "Lest we forget in the emotional excitement of competitions or in the trauma of "A” and "B” testing just what Pony Club is all about, let me remind you that it is not to make Olympic riders though we will take great pride in any Pony Club member who can reach that height; it is not to turn out highly polished riders mounted on expensive horses, though we all admire the picture when treated to it; it is not to turn every child into an "A” rider or even a "B.” It is to provide every child with a backyard horse or pony the opportunity to develop his skill in riding and horse-care to the point where he is a proficient "C.” It is to instill in him a love for horses and an ability to care for and enjoy horses for the rest of his life and through this contribute to his development as a well-rounded, self disciplined and responsible citizen. If we have done these things, we will have done our job.”
--Rufus Wesson, who founded Mendon Pony Club in l960, went on to become USPC’s 6th President.