About the Atlanta Pony Club
Atlanta Pony Club is an active member of the United States Pony Club and is located in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta. Our goal is to help young horse persons in their development and education. We have several mounted and non-mounted meetings throughout the year and attend a variety of rallies and functions sponsored by the United States Pony Club. Our club members are active in events including dressage, eventing, stadium jumping, quiz and fox hunting.
We support the mission of the United States Pony Club which is "to provide a program for youth that teaches riding, mounted sports, and the care of horses and ponies, thereby developing responsibility, moral judgment, leadership and self-confidence.”
Our Core Values:
|Horsemanshipwith respect to healthcare, nutrition, stable management, handling and riding a mount safely, correctly and with confidence.|
|Organizedteamwork including cooperation, communication, responsibility, leadership, mentoring, teaching and fostering a supportive yet competitive environment.|
|Respectfor the horse and self through horsemanship; for land through land conservation; and for others through service and teamwork.|
|Serviceby providing an opportunity for members, parents, and others to support the Pony Club program locally, regionally and nationally through volunteerism.|
|Educationat an individual pace to achieve personal goals and expand knowledge through teaching others.|
What Do Members Do In Pony Club?
Pony Club members participate in mounted meetings where the basics of riding skills are stressed and taught continually at all levels. All clubs and centers try to organize a program that is fun, educational and interesting to younger and older members. Mounted meetings are often structured so that older, upper-level members who are serious about setting and pursuing their goals may practice at their own level of intensity. Younger members are offered lots of fun mixed in with educational opportunities. In addition to the mounted meetings, there are also unmounted meetings that are often structured around Horse Management instruction. Some examples of lessons are: feed (cost and type), shoeing, vet visits, temperature, pulse and respiratory rate, training schedules, tack (types, care, fitting, construction, use), breeds of horses and ponies, safety issues, grooming, loading and hauling, First Aid, breeding/foaling, stable manners, under-standing horse sports, and so much more.
Horse people generally recognize USPC members by their responsible and complete approach to horse care. Members should be proud of their Horse Management; it sets USPC apart from all other horse/riding organizations.
Through participation in club and center activities, members begin to work their way up through the ratings established by the Standards of Proficiency. At the ratings members demonstrate their riding and Horse Management skills.
Another wonderful part of being a Pony Club member is participating in competitive rallies. Pony Club rallies provide an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in an atmosphere of cooperation, fun and teamwork. A rally allows Pony Club members to test their skills against others. In addition, rallies are educational experiences that expose participants to new ideas and ways of doing things.
Cooperation, confidence, and leadership are all traits that Pony Club develops in its members and these are best built up through teaching. Teaching is the best way for members to work together, gain self-confidence in their skills, and learn how to lead others. It is also a great way to really cement what they have learned.
Peer-to-peer teaching is a very important part of Pony Club. Most clubs and centers have a mentoring program in place where an older Pony Club member is assigned to a younger member. The older member can answer questions (or refer the question to someone who can), encourage participation, explain the intricacies of Pony Club, and to just "be there” for the new member. As new members become integrated into the club or center and progress in their learning, they in turn are expected to help newer and younger members.
As members reach the C ratings, they will begin to learn how to formally teach. They will begin with teaching Horse Management skills and advance to teaching riding skills. With the help of instructors and other adults in the club or center, members will learn how to make and implement a lesson plan, how to handle the unexpected (i.e., uncooperative mount, distressed child, etc.), how to evaluate the progress of students, and so much more.