What is required for a member to become a National Member?

To become a National Member you must be between the ages of 18 and 25, a C-2 HM or above, and have a onetime letter of recommendation from a DC, CA or RS. Our reasoning behind the letter of recommendation is so that the National Office has a way to ensure that the members seeking National Membership fit the bill for what this membership is meant to provide to our members. After being accepted as a National Member, when renewing, those members will not be required to turn in another letter of recommendation. At this time, National Membership is not available to Horsemasters.

How will someone join USPC as a National Member?

An individual who meets the eligibility requirements will need to complete the regular Particiapting Membership Application and indicate that membership category at the top of the form. They will need to mail this form, along with dues payment and the letter of recommendation directly to the USPC Office.

What is the cost to join as a National Member?

The dues for this membership category will be $195 (subject to change). The reasoning behind this price is that we want to offer this membership as a premium, recognizing that the traditional membership provides the most to our members, but also recognizing the cost burden on those who do not benefit fully from a traditional membership.

Is this membership a requirement once members meet the eligibility requirements?

This is not a required membership path, but instead is simply an option for members who feel they need it. Members who benefit from being club/center/region members and regularly attend club/center/regional activities are not the ones to whom this category is being targeted. This membership option is intended to serve as an alternative for members who may otherwise choose not to renew.

These National Members will no longer be supporting our region, club, or center as members with dues or other fees. How can we afford to allow them to participate in our lessons, rallies, and other activities?

National Members will be expected to pay the full cost of all activities in which they participate. Clubs, centers, and regions are not being asked to fund their participation.

Pony Club is a great form of mentoring and provides opportunities for members to teach. What will happen to this aspect of Pony Club if the older members are no longer as involved on a club or riding center level?

Mentorship is something that naturally grows out of Pony Club. Older members mentor younger ones, and instructors and examiners mentor older members. We do not anticipate this aspect of Pony Club to disappear when the National Membership is implemented. With the Visiting Instructor Program, as well as other opportunities for upper level members to teach, younger members will still have the opportunity to be mentored by older members of the organization.

When an NYC delegate was questioned on this topic, they said: "Pony Club has put a lot of time into me, and I want to give my time back, whether I’m a member of the club or region or not.” Another NYC delegate said: "Our organization has given us a lot and we owe the organization for that.” National Youth Board members echoed these responses, one saying: "We will need to reach out first to DCs, CAs, and RSs when moving to a new area, but we would do that whether we were a National Member or not.”

Where will these members take upper level tests?

While many members apply for upper level tests in their region, there are also members who live away from their region and apply for tests outside of their own region. With the test application the way it is, members select their top three choices for testing location. We anticipate this will not change, and if members are unable to test in their top choice they will be able to test in their second or third choice location. We feel that having a new membership category will not greatly impact the way this is already done.

How will National Members compete at Championships?

National members will have to compete at a qualifying rally in order to compete at Championships, unless they achieve the certification level acceptable for exemption from this requirement. National Members will have the opportunity to fill a team from the region in which they are competing if the team is not full, otherwise they will be placed on scramble teams.

Are National Members allowed to receive club, center, or regional awards?

National Members will not be eligible for any award offered by a club, center, or region. When choosing to become a National Member these members are recognizing that they are no longer affiliating themselves specifically to one club, center, or region, and the awards should be given to members who are affiliated.

Can a National Member be a sponsor or officer in a specific club?

Because National Members are defined by USPC Bylaws as non-traditional Participating Members, they are allowed to be Club Sponsors if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

2013 Letter from the Chair:

As chairperson of the Membership Ad Hoc committee I am pleased to announce the newest membership category for our organization. As a member and Chair of the National Youth Board for the past 2 years, I have heard concerns from many college age members that Pony Club is not fully meeting their needs. The National Youth Board discussed these concerns and requested that the Board consider a new membership category that would better meet the needs of young adult members who are living away from home and want to continue participating in Pony Club. An ad hoc Membership committee was formed and has been working on developing a proposal to resolve this issue. The USPC Board of Governors, through the Executive Committee, has approved the proposal for the National Membership category.

The National Membership will be offered to members who are a current C-2 HM or above, and are between the ages of 18 and 25. They will be identified as a National Member with reference to the Club and Region in which they originated. These members typically travel away from their home club for college, sometimes to different states, and are not able to participate in their home club most of the year. The National Membership will offer individuals the opportunity to be a member of Pony Club on a national level without a specific region, club, or riding center affiliation. We believe that this will encourage our experienced young adult members to continue as a Pony Club member regardless of where they are living.

By enabling these young adults to continue in Pony Club and participate in whatever region they are living, everyone at all levels will benefit in many ways. These members will have the opportunity to share their passion of Pony Club with other areas. They will have the chance to ride with other clubs, rally in other regions, and compete at championships possibly with the club where they got their start in Pony Club. This will allow members more flexibility in regard to where they participate while away from their home club.

Second, this new membership category will give the National Youth Congress and the National Youth Board an opportunity to fill their numbers. In the past neither of these programs have had the full amount of members for which there is space, and by retaining members that are eligible, we give both programs the opportunity to be filled.

Third, by creating this type of membership we are directly responding to a request from our members. As a member in Pony Club myself, I have attended the NYC as a delegate, and have been a part of lively discussions on the needs of members and what needs are not being met. I have also had the opportunity to return to the NYC the following two years to get ideas for the NYB to consider. The National Membership idea is one that has come up multiple times from the NYC as a need, and is one that our committee believes will be well received by the members who fit the criteria to become a National Member.

In the membership packets this fall there will be additional paperwork about the National Membership and how members apply.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Thank you for all you do for Pony Club,

Christina Hoffman and the Membership Committee