How does my child join Pony Club?
Youth join USPC by becoming a member of a local Pony Club or a Riding Center. A club is a group of parents and other adult volunteers who have gotten together to administer the Pony Club program to the youth 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 a child joins Pony Club, they are a member of the National Organization, USPC, a Region (a geographic collection of clubs), and a local club or center. Membership is through December 31. Members will pay:
- National Dues: $130 for a new membership, $110 a renewing membership
- Regional Dues: Set by each region, be sure to ask the club/center you are interested in joining
- Local Dues: Set by each club and center, be sure to ask the club/center you are interested in joining
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 USPC activities). Please note: The first year is considered to be January 1 following date of foaling.
In order to join a club, typically a member needs to have his or her own mount, or access to a mount. However, most centers are able to provide a pony or horse for their members.
What if I don't have a pony, what if I have a horse?
It doesn't matter, so long as the mount is suitable according to Pony Club policy. The word "pony” in United States Pony Clubs comes from the British Pony Club and was originally used to refer to the size of the rider, not to the size of the horse.
How old do I have to be?
There is no national minimum age for joining Pony Club, but some clubs, centers and regions have set a minimum age. Youth may remain in Pony Club through December 31st of the year in which they turn 25.
How often does the club/center have meetings?
This varies by club and center. Many clubs/centers have one mounted meeting and one unmounted (or dismounted) 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 younger members.
What if I don't have my own horse trailer?
Trailer and trailering requirements are determined by the local club or center.
What kind of clothes do I have 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 jodhpurs, paddock boots, etc. Once again, for more information please contact the local club.
What if there's not a Pony Club in my area?
You may wish to talk to an adult about starting one. That adult may request a brochure about starting a local Pony Club from the USPC National Office at 859-254-7669 or via email.
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 was designed to be a supplement to any other formal individual training a member is receiving.
Do my parents have 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. Therefore 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.
There are many areas in which parents are needed, not all of which require equine knowledge. Parents may share one of many roles within the club or center such as club leader, chaperone, webmaster, camp organizer, jump judge, or assist in activities, events and fund-raisers.