Pony Club is the largest equestrian educational organization in the world.
This is where it all begins!
The cornerstones of our foundation are education, safety, sportsmanship, stewardship and FUN.
Members learn riding and the care of horses through mounted sports. The skills, habits and values instilled through horsemanship will apply to every part of a member’s life.
Participating members have access to the Pony Club online community, sponsor discounts, educational standards and achievements, a Pony Club Pin, and the chance to participate in activities such as lessons and certifications, rallies and competitions, Championships and Pony Club Festival.
A host of additional programs such as international exchanges, USEF Pony Finals, Dressage for Kids, National Youth Board, National Youth Congress, scholarships, and the Visiting Instructors Program are available to members who develop and progress through Pony Club. Many of our graduates feel that Pony Club helped shape their character and the choices they have made as adults.
Pony Club is pleased to partner with additional educational providers, dedicated to promoting quality instructional resources and education for our membership. Our partners know how important equine knowledge and awareness is for the future of all horses and horse care providers.
Partners include Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Kentucky Equine Research, TheHorse.com, United States Equestrian Federation, United States Eventing Association, and United States Dressage Federation. Pony Club is truly supported by the very top levels of our sport!
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 not allowed to participate in 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.
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..
This varies between each club or center. Many clubs/centers have one 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. APC events include monthly mounted meetings in the warmer months (though sometimes we are blessed to use an indoor and can do them in the winter!) and several unmounted activities per month. In the summer we move to weekly programming to give kids as much education as they want to soak in! Everything in APC is OPTIONAL to allow for individual training schedules. We do not have a mandatory minimum number of events or attendance requirements. We do, however, require all members to carry at least a D1 Horse Management rating soon after joining.
There is no national minimum age to join Pony Club. Some clubs, centers, and regions have set a minimum age. Members are considered youth members until December 31st of the year they turn 25. Adult members are classified as Horsemasters and are any individual aged 25 and above.
That’s ok! Lots of APC members do not have a horse trailer. However, those who do should help other members find rides to events. Also, many of our riders’ barns have trainers who are supportive of APC and will often trailer groups. If you can’t find a ride, contact DC Jessica Goodman and the APC officers will do everything they can to help. Don’t let concerns about trailering be a barrier to you joining.
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. APC doesn’t require further specific clothes but will provide an opportunity to buy APC-branded athletic/riding wear.
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. Learning opportunities exist at the local and national level and there are even a few annual international team event for our more advanced members. Pony Club is a horsemanship and leadership development organization with countless chances for education and riding advancement.
Almost all members take riding lessons somewhere 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. APC wants to come alongside a member’s existing barn to supplement horse knowledge and provide a more diverse equestrian experience. One of the best parts of APC is meeting riders from other barns in our county.
No, they don't need to "know" horses, but like most sports parents, 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.
Horsemanship with respect to healthcare, nutrition, stable management, handling and riding a mount safely, correctly and with confidence.
Organized teamwork including cooperation, communication, responsibility, leadership, mentoring, teaching and fostering a supportive yet competitive environment.
Respect for the horse and self through horsemanship; for land through land conservation; and for others through service and teamwork.
Service by providing an opportunity for members, parents, and others to support the Pony Club program locally, regionally and nationally through volunteerism.
Education at an individual pace to achieve personal goals and expand knowledge through teaching others.
Helmet – All members must wear a correctly-fitted helmet when riding. Helmets must meet national or international standards. In the United States, the helmet must be ASTM F1163, AS/NZ 3838 or PAS 015 approved.
Footwear – Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times when riding or working around horses. 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 either a Medical Armband or
Bracelet. A Medical Armband must include a current completed copy of the individual's USPC Medical Card and is 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 the Pony Club website. Be sure to update and/or replace the Medical Card insert as needed. Some riders find the armbands cumbersome. You can buy silicone/watch-style medical bracelets online that meet this requirement.
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. Members are expected to wear their Pony Club pin at Pony Club activities and are encouraged to show their Pony Club pride by wearing them at outside equestrian events. *We recommend buying a few of these and keeping them in your car, tack trunk, etc., as they are required at pony club rallies.*
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. These books are a major resource for members as their riding and horse management skills grow. It is highly recommended to buy a copy online at the Pony Club Shop.
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. They can be found at the online Pony Club Shop.
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.
Members pay national, regional, and club dues.
In addition, some USPC events will have registration fees.
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: Current national dues are set at $155 (prorated after a certain amount of time).
Regional Dues: Maryland Region Dues are $25
Local Dues: APC dues are $80
Sponsor: APC asks for each family to have one $15 sponsor membership which includes voting privileges and input on club operations at APC board meetings.
Annapolis 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. APC requires each family commit to 16 hours of volunteering per year. Being an officer or committee chair fulfills this commitment, and there’s also a $200 opt-out for families who are hard-pressed for time. On years when Annapolis Pony Club hosts a regional rally, volunteering is required and is outside of the 16 hours of commitment.
* Annapolis Pony Club Maryland Region monthly mounted meetings will be scheduled on a quarterly basis*
· Jan - Mar: Weekly zoom practices for Quiz Rally
· March 25: Maryland Region Quiz Rally – St. James Episcopal Church, 1307 N Main St., Mt Airy, MD 21771
· April 22: Maryland C Level Ratings- Tranquility Manor Farms, 4101 Stansbury Mill Rd, Monkton, MD 21111
· April 23: Games Rally (hosted by Burntwoods) Carroll County Equestrian Center, 2512 Grimville Rd, Mt Airy, MD 21771
· May 20/21: Maryland Region Tetrathlon Rally- Waredaca, 4015 Damascus Rd,Laytonsville, MD 20882
· June: Wednesday evenings in June will be “Dinner & Dive (into horse knowledge)” from 7-8pm. Members bring a box dinner to an unmounted educational session at Bit of Faith Farm.
· June 3/4: Maryland Region Dressage and Show Jump Rally- Morven Park Equestrian Center, Leesburg, VA
· June 11: Maryland Region Eventing Rally- 1401 Shawan Rd, Cockeysville, MD 21030
· July & August: Dinner & Dive turns into Lunch & Learn. Every Wednesday 11:30am-1pm, drop in byo lunch with a horse management topic and many exciting guest speakers.
· July 26 - 30: USPC Championships - Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina