Frequently Asked Questions
What is Pony Club?
Pony Club NSW, established in 1946, is the largest recognised state body for pony clubs in Australia, and one of the largest association of riders in the world. Pony Club NSW is a not-for-profit youth organisation with all profits generated through club and event management invested into the development of horse riding in NSW through targeting grassroots, and elite development programs, competitions and education programs
What is the Organisational Structure of the Pony Club Association of NSW?
The Pony Club Association of New South Wales is the controlling body for Pony Clubs in New South Wales. Pony Club NSW membership is comprised of approximately 271 registered Pony Clubs which are divided into 28 Zones, with 15, 500 fee-paying members. NSW has the largest representation of Australian Pony Club memberships at approximately 40%. These Pony Clubs operate from Tweed Heads in the north of the state to Eden in the south.
What are the aims and objectives of Pony Club?
- To encourage young people to ride and learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with horses and riding
- To provide instruction on riding and horsemanship and to instill in the members the proper care of their animals
- To promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, thereby cultivating strength of character and self-discipline.
Who can join Pony Club and what are the different types of Memberships?
MEMBERSHIP is open to anyone who is not considered a 'professional' under the Association rules.
- Junior members are under 17 years,
- Associate members are 17 and under 25 years and
- Senior Members are 25 years and over.
Only Junior and Associate members are allowed to compete or receive instruction.
What can Pony Club do for me?
Pony club teaches the basic steps in riding and caring for your horse. You learn the basic veterinary skills, and farrier's tools. You meet other people from all parts of your town and across NSW. You learn to help and look out for each other and you can compete and represent your club, zone, NSW and ultimately Australia.
How do I join Pony Club?
Conduct a Club Search via this website, to locate the closest Pony Club to you. Contact the Secretary of that Pony Club to find out when the next Rally Day is and what the membership fees are. If you have any questions about joining Pony Club, contact either the Local Club's secretary or call the State Office on (02) 4229 8977
How old do I have to be?
Each club sets its own minimum age depending on the resources it has available. Members under 25 years have the opportunity to receive riding instruction and participate in competition.
Do I have to own a horse?
Ownership of a horse or pony is not required for membership, but arrangements for obtaining a suitable mount must be made on an individual basis. Stallions and rigs are unsuitable mounts for Pony Club activities.
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 Pony Club 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
If I have a question, who do I ask?
Members should address their questions to their Club Secretary. All members should check the website first, to make sure the information you are seeking is not there already.
Is Pony Club NSW a not-for-profit organisation?
Yes, Pony Club NSW is a not-for-profit organisation
How old does my horse have to be to ride at pony club?
There is no minimum age of horses and ponies. The Club Chief Instructor will assess each horse & rider combination to ensure they are safe to participate.
What are the area's within pony club?
The breakup of areas is as follows:
Area 1: 10, 19, 22, 23, 26
Area 2: 5, 7, 24, 25
Area 3: 8, 9, 13, 15
Area 4: 3, 4, 6, 17
Area 5: 2, 11, 12, 20, 21
Area 6: 14, 16, 18, 27, 28
What goes on in Pony Club?
Recognised as the grassroots level of horse riding development, Pony Club NSW has over 271 clubs with over 15, 500 members. Other activities members can participate in include gymkhanas, camps, trail rides, lectures, films, and visits to places of interest.
Rally Days are held at regular intervals (usually once or twice a month) at which riders receive their instruction on riding and caring for their pony. These rallies are run by voluntary instructors and are the backbone of the movement.
Pony Club NSW presents regular high level coaching to riders with an above average standard in a particular discipline. Riders receive instruction from some of the top coaches in the state.
Instructors Schools are held at regular intervals at a Club, Zone and State level. The aim of the schools is to educate instructors and potential instructors to give them an opportunity to gain or improve their qualifications for instruction at Pony Clubs. Pony Club NSW has now embraced the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS). NCAS, an initiative of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), is a progressive coach education program. Pony Club NSW instructors are encouraged to hold an Equestrian Australia NCAS Level One Accreditation or higher.
Pony Club NSW holds a Camp each year for the top 15 riders in the State in their chosen discipline, Dressage, Showjumping, Eventing and Mounted Games. These riders come together and are instructed by top Australian coaches.
Competitions are held at a Club, Zone, State, National and International level. Pony Club NSW holds 9 state championships a year. While a number of clubs and zones also have regular competitions on an annual basis. Zone championships
are generally held once a year for most disiplines, including Dressage, Show Jumping, One Day Event, Sporting, and Mounted Games. State Championships
are held at roughly the same times each year. Please check the calendar, available through your club or via the website, www.pcansw.org.au
January - State Camp, Dressage
April - Sporting and Campdrafting
May - Jumping Equitation
July - Showjumping, Polocrosse
October - Mounted Games, One Day Event
December - Show Riding
Throughout their pony club career, riders are encouraged to undertake various efficiency tests according to their age and ability, commencing with the basic ‘D’ test through to ‘A’ test the highest level. These certificates aim to encourage the interest and improvement in knowledge of its members. They are viewed as a measure of a rider’s progress in their overall efficiency. In working for them riders acquire valuable knowledge and skills, which enhance their riding experience.
Pony Club NSW Online
The Pony Club NSW Website, Facebook page, Blog and Twitter page is a major portal for horse riders in NSW providing up-to-date information across all areas of Pony Club NSW’s operation.
What should the rider wear?
Safety is paramount in Pony Club, therefore each member is required to wear the following at all times, while mounted:
- Well fitting approved helmet
- Smooth soled elastic sided riding boots. These need to have elastic sides (they can not be lace or zip up boots, only riders over 17yo may wear long boots.)
How do Parents Fit in with Pony Club?
Pony Club has a number of activities to offer which means a great number of volunteers, with a variety of skills, are necessary to keep the different programs running. Being a parent of a Pony Club member involves a commitment to not only ensuring that your child attends the various lessons and activities, but to help in their organisation and running as well. You don’t have to be a horseperson to help. Your Club will be glad to channel your skills as a volunteer. Jobs could Include:
- Helping in the canteen
- Cooking the BBQ
- Assisting to set up and pack away equipment
- Assisting instructors especially with activities like sporting (putting flags out) and jumping (picking up pole when they are knocked down).
- Office bearer
- Newsletter Editor
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