Saturday promises to be exciting as I am spending the day with some of my best friends, Ponies! The Atlanta Pony Club is meeting me at Foxberry Farms in Dallas, Georgia for a full day of dressage lessons.
This is not my first time teaching the ponyclubbers and I hope I will be invited again. Having started riding in England I had a short brush with the
British Pony Club and have a great deal of respect for the organization. Any rider that has earned the rating of “A” ponyclubber is not only qualified to be a professional rider but has proven to be an expert in horse and barn management as well. To check how you measure up click here for the United State’s Pony Club’s Standards of Proficiency for H-B, HH-A Levels (the horse management section of the “A” level). The Dressage Specialty Riding Test is no walk in the park either!
As riders “rate” through the system, starting with the fundamentals of horsecare and riding, they prove their skills through testings. These are no easy tests! Safety and the integrity of the ratings are a priority and much preparation, instruction and hard work goes into preparing the riders for their ratings. Rallies are held for concentrated coaching before rating sessions and the ponyclubbers must work together with a team in all areas of barn management. To make sure the kids are focused and learning the information themselves, parents are not allowed in the barn area at rallies.
Don’t get the idea that Ponyclub is all work and testing! Ponyclubbers learn while having fun! Jumping, gymkhana, eventing, foxhunting, all types of English riding opportunities abound, both at the local and national level. Scholarships are even available for hard-working applicants. If you are a young rider or if you have a young rider in the family I strongly recommend Ponyclub for a well-rounded horseman’s education. It’s a well-known fact, no one can teach you more than a pony!