Volunteer Expectations Member Meeting Materials Member Educational Materials Parent FAQs

Volunteer Expectations

Pony Club parents play a critical role in the experience each child has within their club or center.  Volunteers make Pony Club happen. Parent involvement at the local level is vital.  Not a horse person? No big deal. There are plenty of volunteer positions that don’t require equine knowledge.

Local clubs and centers offer many opportunities for those interested to support their program.  Some options include: bring snacks to a meeting, organize an unmounted meeting, or help with organization and implementation of a rally. Parent contribution makes it all happen. 

Learn more about volunteering in Pony Club.   Access the Pony Club Adult Code of Conduct.

Member Meeting Materials

Helmet – All members must wear a helmet when riding or working around a horse or pony.

Helmets must meet national or international standards.  In the United States, the helmet must be ASTM F1163, AS/NZ 3838 or PAS 015 approved. For full details, see Policy 0810 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR HELMETS.

Footwear – Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times when riding or working around horses.  (Refer to the Horse Management Handbook)

Unmounted Footwear should be thick-soled shoes or boots (short or tall) of sturdy construction in good condition. These boots should cover the ankle, be entirely closed, securely fastened and well-fitted to the foot.  Examples: paddock/jodhpur boots, rubber riding boots, rain boots/wellies, western boots. 

When mounted a conventional type of riding footwear with a heel is required, such as riding boots, paddock/jodhpur boots, or the equivalent.

Medical Armband/Bracelet – During any Pony Club activity, members must wear a either a Medical Armband or Bracelet. 

A Medical Armband must include a current completed copy of the individual's USPC Medical Card. It must be worn on the upper arm. If the member has small arms, he/she may safety pin the armband to his/her upper sleeve. Armbands are available for purchase from Shop Pony Club  Be sure to update and/or replace the Medical Card insert as needed.

Medical Bracelets must visibly list these five items on them: (a) Name and Date of Birth, (b) Emergency Contact Information, (c) Known Allergies, (d) Current Medications, and (e) Existing Medical Conditions. More information is acceptable, but these five items are required to be on the bracelet.

Pony Club Pin – Each member receives a pin when they join USPC in their New Member Packet.  Members are expected to wear they Pony Club pin at Pony Club activities and encouraged to show their Pony Club pride by wearing them at outside equestrian events. Additional or replacement pins can be purchased at Shop Pony Club.

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Member Educational Materials

Horse Management Handbook and Rules for Rallies – This handbook holds the rules for Horse Management at Pony Club competition and all Pony Club activities, including regular club and center meetings. In addition to the regulations for Rally, it also contains many of the charts, checklists, and other documents members will need for competition.  Visit the Rulebook page to download the Handbook or purchase it through Shop Pony Club.

Pony Club Manuals – USPC offers three Manual of Horsemanship editions, Basics for Beginners (D-1-D-3), Intermediate Horsemanship (C-1-C-2), and Advanced Horsemanship based on the Standards of Proficiency that members will be moving through. Your club or center may have a copy of the manuals that can be checked out of the club or center library, but these books are a major resource for members as their riding and horse management skills grow. The manuals may be purchased from Shop Pony Club.

Online Educational Resources – Members of Pony Club have access to online learning materials and opportunities that will increase their knowledge and help prepare them for their next level of achievement in Pony Club.  Members must be signed-in in order to access these pages.

These pages are accessed either from the members profile page in the "My Stuff" section or under the “Members” tab of the menu bar, then go to “Certifications”, then choose “Local Level” for members who are working on their D-1 through C-2 levels, or “National Level” for members working on their H-B to A levels.

Flash/Study Cards – Available for the D Level, C Level and the H-B Level, these decks of Flash Cards are a great way for members to prep for upcoming certifications.  Available through Shop Pony Club.

New Member Starter Kit – This is a great resource for any new member. Consider this an option to get off to a great start in Pony Club.  This kit includes: the USPC Manual of Horsemanship: Basics for Beginners "D" Standard, An Introduction to Horse Sports, a copy of the D Level Standards of Proficiency, the Horse Management Rulebook, a Safety Information Packet, a member pin, a window decal and a medical armband.  Available through Shop Pony Club.

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Parent FAQ

How does my child join Pony Club?

Individuals join USPC by becoming a member of the local Pony Club or Riding Center. A club is a group of parents and other adult volunteers who have gotten together to administer the Pony Club program in their area. Typically, a member needs to have his or her own mount, or access to a mount in order to join a club and get the most out of the program. A center is an equestrian facility that has been recognized by USPC to administer the Pony Club program to its clients and others in the area. Typically a center is able to provide a pony or horse for their members.

How much does it cost to join Pony Club?

When an individual joins Pony Club, they are a member of the National Organization, USPC, a region (a geographic collection of clubs and centers), and a local club or center. Membership runs yearly January 1 through December 31.

National Dues: Club or Center leaders will advise current dues.
Regional Dues: Set by each region.
Local Dues: Set by each club or center.

Do I have to own a horse?

Ownership of a horse or pony is not required for membership, but arrangements for a suitable mount must be made on an individual basis. (Stallions are unsuitable mounts for Pony Club activities. Horses and Ponies must be at least five years of age for use). Please note: The first year is considered to be January 1 following the date of foaling.

What if I don't have a pony, what if I have a horse?

It doesn't matter, as long as the mount is suitable according to the Pony Club policy. The word "pony" in Pony Club comes from the British Pony Club and was originally used to refer to the size of the rider, not the size of the horse.

How often does the club/center have meetings?

This varies between each club or center. Many clubs/centers have on mounted meeting and one unmounted meeting each month. Some clubs/centers meet weekly. During unmounted meetings members learn about feeding, shoeing, veterinary care, and other areas of horse management. Under adult supervision, the more experienced Pony Club members instruct and assist the more inexperienced members.

Are there any age restrictions to become a member?

There is no national minimum or maximum age to join Pony Club. Some clubs and centers have set a minimum age due to resources available to them. Members are considered youth members until they turn 18. Adult members are any individual aged 18 and above, and are subject to Member and Volunteer Protection policy requirements such as favorable background checks and SafeSport™ trained course completion.

What if I don't have my own horse trailer?

Trailering requirements are determined by the local club or center.

What kind of clothes do I need to buy?

USPC is committed to safety. It is a membership requirement that Pony Club members wear a riding helmet meeting the ASTM/SEI standard when attending mounted meetings. Parents should be prepared to purchase this item and the minimum basic riding equipment such as jodphurs, paddock boots, etc. Once again, for more information please contact your local club or center.

What opportunities are available to members?

Along with learning riding and horse care skills at local meetings, there are a variety of other educational and competitive opportunities in Pony Club for its members.  Check out this chart of opportunity that lists various opportunities and information on any age and/or certification level requirements for participation.

What if there's not a Pony Club in my area?

Individuals interested in starting a club or center may request a brochure and information from the National Office.  Learn more about starting a club or center and request the brochure. 

Do I need to/can I take riding lessons in addition to Pony Club?

Most members take riding lessons in addition to Pony Club. The Pony Club program is designed to be a supplement to any other formal individual training a member is receiving.

Do parents need to "know" horses?

No, they don't need to "know" horses, but they will be involved. Clubs are administered by the parents and other adult volunteers in the area. Parents play an important role in the club. Centers are administered by a facility, but many still rely on their parents to assist in the program. Parents should ask any club or center they are thinking of having their child join about the expectations for the parents in the club or center.

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