Pony Club member having their helmet checked for safe fit prior to riding.

Since its founding, Pony Club has led the equestrian community in promoting safe horsemanship practices. Recognizing that riding is an inherently dangerous activity, the USPC Board of Governors endorses the goal to teach safe practices in all Pony Club activities. Pony Club's commitment to teach safe practices begins at the D-1 and D-2 levels when members learn how to safely approach the pony, safely lead, safely tie and safely pick out the feet. These steps are the foundation for learning the safe handling of a very large animal capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to itself or rider/handler.

Pony Club was the driving force behind the standardization in safety testing of riding helmets. Until recently, Pony Club was the only equestrian organization that collected data on accidents and incidents that result from horseback riding or working with horses on the ground. The study of the collected data by the Safety Committee allows for Pony Club to recognize potential causes of accident unique to horse activities and possible actions that might be taken to prevent or reduce these risks.

To further Pony Club's commitment to safety, the Safety Committee was formed for the purpose of promoting best practices in riding and working with horses and educating those involved with all Pony Club activities in the methods of incident and accident avoidance. A full list of the duties of the national Safety Committee can be found in USPC Resolution #9.

Member Safety

Safety FAQ's

Have questions about when you need to fill out report forms? What about simple safety questions? CLICK HERE for the Safety FAQ's. 

USPC Safety Handbook

This handbook is written for USPC members, leaders, volunteers, and parents. Use these guidelines as you begin your planning for successful mounted and unmounted meetings, rallies, and clinics.

Read the Handbook

Appendix G: Incident Report Form (Printable Version)

USPC Equine and Human Biosecurity Guidelines

Biosecurity should be a consideration for USPC leaders organizing lessons, camps and rallies as well as for members and parents.   This document provides best practices guidance for USPC functions. 

Read the Guidelines

Medical Armbands & Bracelets

In accordance with Policy 0820 & 0820 P.1, a Pony Club member must wear a medical armband and/or a medical bracelet at all Pony Club activities.

  • Medical armbands may be purchased through ShopPonyClub.  Update and/or replace the Medical Card insert as needed.
  • Medical bracelets must meet certain requirements – learn more.

Helmet Fit

Protective Riding Vests

In accordance with Policy 0830, USPC requires a body protector whenever a member is jumping cross country / solid obstacles in USPC activities.

Additional Safety Resources

Volunteer Safety Training & Requirements

Creating a safe environment for our members, with knowledgeable volunteers is of utmost importance to Pony Club.  All members, parents, and volunteers are encouraged to go through the training modules regardless of whether it is required for them or not.

Background Checks

It has become the standard among youth serving organizations to require volunteers working with children to complete a criminal background check. USPC began developing a program for background checks in 2008. As a youth serving organization committed to the safety and security of members and volunteers, USPC must adhere to best practices by requiring a favorably completed background check on record.

Effective January 1, 2022, all members of USPC aged 21 and over, will be required to complete a favorable USPC background check. If applicable, residents of Pennsylvania may need to submit valid Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearances.

Access the Background Check page.

Member Protection

Regular instructors/clinicians, local level examiners, and volunteers having ongoing contact with members are required to complete both a favorable USPC background check and provide proof of SafeSportTM Trained Course completion.  If applicable, residents of Pennsylvania may be required to submit Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearances. 

Effective January 1, 2022, Club, Center, and National Members of USPC age 18 and over, will be required to provide proof of SafeSport™ Trained Course completion.

Access the training page.

Head Injury

The Heads Up Concussion training module was done in conjunction with the NFL and the CDC Foundation. Once an individual has gone through the module, they will take a quick Pony Club quiz on concussions so that their record will show that they have completed the training.

Access the training page.

Heat Illness

The It’s Hot Outside training module was done by the CDC Foundation.  Once an individual views the module, they take a quick Pony Club quiz on heat illness so that their Profile will show that they have completed the training.

Access the training page.

Report Forms

Incident Report Form

In order to improve the safety of our members and volunteers when riding and working around horses; club, center and regional leaders are required to complete an incident report form when ANY incident occurs at a Pony Club activity. This form must be filled out whether it appears to be a minor bump or a significant injury.  Incident reports are reviewed by the Safety Committee to look for trends and patterns in injuries and to find ways in which to reduce the risk of injury.

Access the Online Incident Report Form

Concussion Assessment Tool

Timely recognition and appropriate response is important in treating a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. Pony Club leaders and Instructors play a key role in helping to prevent a concussion and to improve outcomes through early detection and appropriate referral.  Use the Concussion Assessment Tool to assess the possibility that a member may have a concussion.

Download the Assessment Tool

Head Injury/Concussion Report Form

Traumatic Head Injuries are specific injuries Pony Club is working towards learning more about as they relate to occurrence in equestrian sports. Pony Club is committed to educating our members, parents, and leaders on the signs and treatments.  The form below is to be completed to report the particulars of a member returning to play following a head injury or the suspicion of a concussion having been sustained.

Access the Head Injury/Concussion Report Form

Head Injury/Concussion Return to Play Form

This form should be given to any member or their parent whenever a member has suffered a suspected head injury or concussion.  This form should be completed and signed by a physician and the member or parent/guardian (if the member is a minor) and submitted to their club/center leader before they are allowed to participate again in a Pony Club activity.

Access the Return to Play Form

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