Western Riding is a style of horseback riding that evolved from the ranching and working horse traditions of the cowboys in the American west.  Long hours in the saddle produced well-broke horses able to perform quick movements with minute cues from their riders and navigate various terrain and obstacles with a careful ease.

The disciplines of Western Riding, Trail, and Reining are taught with emphasis on good horse management skills and knowledge of western equitation, turnout, and tack.  Members will learn to establish a solid foundation of safety habits and knowledge of daily horse care and related equipment use.  Achievement of the higher levels shows a member that is becoming an active horseperson, and caring for their mount independently. Members learn to develop confidence in all riding phases, as well as horse management principles.


Pony Club has designed a specific educational track for western riding.  Members are encouraged to participate in local and regional competitions to exhibit their skills gained through the standards.  Clubs, centers, and regions may host western competitions and members may qualify for, and participate in, the other Pony Club disciplines offered: Eventing, Dressage, Show Jumping, Tetrathlon, Polocrosse, and Quiz.

Western in Pony Club

Pony Club members can achieve certifications through the C-2 level in western riding.  A variety of riding disciplines are tested such as Trail, Horsemanship, and basic Western Reining patterns.  There is a heavy emphasis placed on the Horse Management skills portions of the test that require practical knowledge and evaluation applications.  Members may also complete Certifications in the English disciplines and compete in any of the other disciplines Pony Club offers.

The D Western Standards offer an introduction to the fun and challenge of riding, establishing a foundation of safety habits and knowledge of daily horse care and related equipment use. Attaining the C Western standards the member becomes an active horseman, caring for their mount independently. The C level member is developing a secure, independent seat and increasing control and confidence in all phases of riding, flat, or obstacle/trail.


Opportunities abound for those wishing to pursue Western Riding during their Pony Club career!    The core values members learn in Pony Club also prepare them for other positions in the equine industry.

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Pony Club offers annual awards to its members who participate in the sport of Western, both at Pony Club competitions and at open shows.

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Check out the Pony Club Pizza, where we pile on the knowledge for all things Western (and all manner of other Pony Club-related topics)!

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