Pony Club Association of Victoria Inc
||Considerations For the
||Coping without a Regular
~ some ideas ~
Pony Club Association of Victoria ~
A youth movement for all who share a love of riding
Pony Club is an International voluntary youth organisation, represented
in more than 20 countries, with an overall membership exceeding 100,000. Originating in
Britain as a scheme to encourage young people to learn to ride, it focused on riding
instruction and fun. It has now become the largest association of riders in the world.
The Pony Club Association of Victoria Inc. (PCAV), formed in 1954,
represents over 200 Pony Clubs throughout Victoria. Clubs are divided into one of ten
regional Zones. All Clubs and Zones are autonomous, self governing and self supporting
under PCAV rules. PCAV boasts a consistently annual 8,000 strong, membership base.
As a Youth Organisation, Pony Club encourages young people to ride and
learn to enjoy all approved kinds of sport connected with horses and riding, and instils
in its members the correct care of their animals. Instructors and helpers are primarily
Youth Leaders. They gather a group of young people with a common interest the
horse. Pony Club place in order of significance:
The safety of the member.
The comfort of the horse.
The enjoyment of the member.
The members progress as a rider.
Instruction is essential. Improving the standard of instruction is
important but as a Youth Movement, Pony Club has added qualities to consider.
One of the main objectives of all Youth Movements whatever the
medium they use to attract their members, is to "promote the highest ideals of
sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, thereby cultivating strength of character and self
The achievement of these objectives, together with sound
Horsemastership and riding skills is what Pony Club is all about. Happy members
mean we are fulfilling our aim.
The Pony Club aim is not to produce individual riders of exceptional
ability, rather to help ALL members improve their riding skills and to enjoy the
Most importantly, Pony Club fosters the care for your mount and the
associated character building attributes that are gained when developing a sense of
responsibility and consideration for others.
Pony Club Association of Victoria ~
Aims and objectives
o encourage young people to ride and to learn to enjoy all
approved types of sport connected with horses and riding.
To provide instruction in horsemanship and riding, and to
instil 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 loyalty.
Pony Club Considerations ~
Children without a horse can be accepted into your Pony Club as regular
members. It is important that this group of members not be made to feel different or
segregated from the riding membership base, since we are all involved for the same reason
a love of horses and riding.
By encouraging full involvement within your Pony Club, the non-owner
member has the opportunity to experience "first hand" the responsibilities
involved with being a Pony Clubber and decide if this activity is really what they want to
An important aspect of belonging, is being part of a team. The Pony
Club uniform aspires to a sense of oneness and belonging. Neat presentation of the uniform
and care for all gear cultivates self-pride and respect of ones self. The Pony Club
uniform is compulsory under the PCAV Bylaw Number 13 and is therefore, a requirement for
all members riding or non riding.
Some clubs allow a period of grace before requiring the member to
purchase the full Pony Club uniform. However for safety reasons, members must always wear
safe footwear and ASA or SAANZ approved equestrian helmets.
Insurance as prescribed by PCAV Council is compulsory. On payment of
the membership fee to PCAV (through the Club), all members are indemnified under the
national Pony Club Insurance Policies.
Supplying a mount and gear
Already a number of Pony Clubs participate in "Riders without
Horses" programmes. The biggest hurdle to cross is supplying a suitable mount for
A "Riders without Horses" programme in your Pony Club is an
initiative tailored individually by your own Club. Activities that work for one Club may
not necessarily work for yours. If your Pony Club considers establishing this program, it
is important you do what is right for your members, with or without horses.
Some suggestions used by other Clubs:~
Only one pony need be used for a
group of 6 members, particularly when concentrating on horsemastership skills.
A Club may borrow suitable ponies who have been "retired" to
the home paddock. These well-loved ponies are too big a part of the family to discard,
tending to be left un-ridden, at home. More often than not, the ponies have progressed
through the Pony Club ranks and know the Rally routine. Perhaps they can be borrowed or
even leased by the Club or the non-owner.
The Pony Club may own suitable ponies and agist them, or have
arrangements for the agistment of Club ponies. The non-owner members can work on a
rotation method, caring or perhaps, agisting the pony. Costs for care and feeding may be
incorporated into the non-owners membership fee.
Some Pony Clubs have a close working relationship with a "Ponies
For Hire" operator. In this case, new members without a pony are advised to contact
the hiring agent who trucks the requested ponies to the Club for the day. NOTE: be aware
of the operator and the availability of the ponies; will there be some consistency of
hiring the same pony each time.
If your Club is located close to an agistment centre or a riding
school, maybe an arrangement can be organised to hire appropriate ponies.
Gear might be hired from the pony owners or perhaps bought by the Club
and hired out to non-owners.
There are many more ideas to be used such as a "buddy system"
or Pony Clubs working together to provide mounts. The best aspect of this programme is
that the members and parents have the opportunity to try before they buy.
What Have I Done?
So you finally relented and now your child is a member of a Pony Club.
What do you do now and how long will the interest in caring for a pony
last? The biggest advantage of "Riders without Horses" is that you have the
chance to "try before you buy". A horse, unlike a cricket bat, cannot be thrown
into the cupboard when the member has lost interest in the activity. Pony Club demands
care and responsibility for the animal, yourself, your gear and your fellow members.
Being a Pony Club parent means joining a community. Every Club has
lists of duties in order that the Club functions efficiently. Your support is necessary to
assist with the Clubs operation. Parental assistance will be required for the
"Riders without Horses" group, kiosk, working bees, Rally setting up and packing
Your involvement and commitment to the Pony Club on behalf of your non
horse owning member, is the same as that undertaken by parents whose children already own
Commitment to the Horse
Depending on the arrangements you have made regarding the use of a
horse, there may be additional commitments to your family such as routine feeding,
grooming, and relevant financial costs. Commitment and costs are different for each Club,
depending on the way in which the "Riders without Horses" programme has been
Perhaps your Club has a Public Relations Officer you can approach.
The usual membership requirements such as uniform, insurance and
attendance apply to all members. The most important aspect to appreciate, however is that
the member is encouraged to participate in the achievement of Efficiency Certificates. The
various levels are detailed in the Australian Pony Club Syllabus of Instruction and Manual
The instruction of the non-owner member is no different to instructing
members with a horse. All must learn the fundamental basics of horsemastership and riding
techniques, which are outlined in the APCC Syllabus of Instruction and Manual of
Instruction. These are essential reference books for teaching in Pony Club.
The instructor at this level should ideally, be the most experienced
the Club can offer since this person will teach concepts and practices which remain with a
member for life.
It is essential the basics in horsemastership must be continually
emphasized as the combination of horse and rider progress through the efficiency
The recommended size for a group of new members is no more than six.
The principles involved with instructing members are the same for any
activity. Their interest must be captured and stimulated, providing a fun learning
activity in a safe environment.
The instructor should have the assistance of at least two adults. More
than likely, these people would be two parents. It is important to involve the parents in
the members learning activities, particularly if they are inexperienced with horses.
Senior riding members can be used to assist with classes since this
would encourage their skills, presentation and communication techniques. A senior rider
should not be left solely to instruct the group. There are many benefits to be gained
by the senior members involvement with this group. Associates may use their
involvement for accreditation toward requirements for efficiency certificates, however the
significant gain is the bonding between Club members and the contribution these members
give back to their Pony Club.
As the members progress in their ability, the Club may introduce a
buddy system where the more Senior Pony Clubbers periodically share their mounts and
experience with these members. The District Commissioner, in collaboration with the
Instructor decides if the mounts are appropriate and if the non-owners have achieved a
required skill level.
Area to be used
The activity area should be small, safe and separately enclosed. A
square is preferable to an oblong where the recommended minimum size is 40 x 40 metres but
ideally would be 60 x 60 metres.
Every attempt should be made to keep the "learners" working
area within close proximity to other rally activities. It is important to maintain the
sense of belonging and feeling part of the Club. Members thrive on the atmosphere a
working Pony Club can offer. They will develop and grow if they can observe skills to
which they may aspire. Relegated to down in the back paddock, that atmosphere is lost!
A series of activity sheets will be released with each set of PCAV
Council minutes. The Activity sheets will be sent to the Club District Commissioners and
Secretaries. These Activity Sheets are to be made available to the Clubs instructor
or whoever may be helping out on the day.
Each Activity Sheet will focus on a particular topic relevant to the
preparation for D Certificate. It is hoped that these sheets may offer some added ideas
and activities, whilst suggesting techniques for instructing un-mounted members at a
Reference Material available from PCAV
||Syllabus Of Instruction, Australian
Pony Club Council $4.00
Manual Of Instruction, Australian Pony Club Council $9.00
Horsemastership For the Australian Rider, Miss K Irving $10.00
Gymkhanas & Rally Games, British Horse Society $20.00
Quiz Questions, British Horse Society $20.00
More Fun in Pony Club (PCAWA) $10.00
PCAV Games Book $3.50
Considerations For the Instructor ~
Points to remember when instructing the very young.
Instructors should read and
constantly refer to the section on Teaching Principles, in The Manual of Instruction (pg
13) These principles apply to all levels of teaching.
At all levels, the safety of the member is given first priority. Next
is the safety and comfort of the horse followed closely by the need to have fun whilst
learning about riding and care of the horse.
Young members will gain balance and confidence riding simple exercises
and playing games. Theory lessons are fun if put into game form.
Always give each member equal attention remember it is a group.
Always give clear, concise, instruction make them positive.
Instructions are easier to absorb if the group stop their activity and
If a member cannot control the horse, they must have a leader on foot
so as not to endanger themselves or others. Encourage the members to guide the horse,
controlling it themselves, the leader is used only as a safety measure.
Always use the members name, it gets their attention quicker if
they hear their own name called.
Be prepared with a rally plan and at this level, be flexible enough to
change to another exercise if something isnt working right. Have plenty of fun
theory games to keep the program varied.
When planning rallies the Pony Club Syllabus is most important. There
are many ideas for lessons at all levels. Just work your way through the Syllabus in
conjunction with the Manual of Instruction and other reference books.
The main consideration is to have an abundance of activities so skills
can be taught in a fun and achieving way. Do not over teach and never get frustrated and
Coping without a Regular Instructor
The members in "Riders without Horses" are the very group
requiring a regular Instructor to maintain consistency and steadiness at the rally. It is
important for this particular group to maintain the same instructor each rally. This may
not be practical, however there should be some consistency within the leadership so the
members have someone to whom they feel they can talk to with confidence. Under these
circumstances each group should be under the direction of a responsible adult plus an
assistant. One or both should always be present during classes. It is their role together
with the Instructor, to know the pupils, their troubles and successes; taking a personal
interest in each member.
Uniformity is of paramount importance. It is essential that Club
Instructors do not vary in their teaching, and if two Instructors should contradict each
other, it can do a tremendous amount of damage within the Club. In the same way, and even
more disheartening to the members involved, would be an examiner coming from another Club
with different ideas. Follow the Syllabus of Instruction and the Manual of Instruction to
avoid problems with uniformity in teaching and examining.
~ some ideas
These games are suitable for any number of players. The games may be
used to reinforce the lessons learned from a theory discussion. By modifying some of the
activities, more senior members can be included, thus helping to foster team spirit and
encourage participation for all. The advantages to all these games is that the degree of
difficulty can be as simple or as difficult as needed so the members can gain a sense of
Articles connected with the horse, grooming kit, saddlery, horse
clothing, horse shoes and so on, are hidden. Competitors are given paper and a pencil and
a time limit is announced. The first list returned with the greatest number of articles,
wins. The items on the list should be described correctly, such as "Egg-butt snaffle
bit" not just "Bit". If the lists are numbered as they are handed in, the
order in which they were received is established.
Photographs of horses, equipment and events connected with the horse
are required. To each photograph is attached a slip of paper bearing a question. The
questions can be graded in difficulty according to the age of the competitors. Thus a
photograph of a well-known jumper might be accompanied by a question for junior members:
"What is the horse doing?" and for senior members: "Who is this? What horse
is he riding?". Members are given a paper, pencil and a time limit. The first list
returned with the greatest number of correct answers, wins.
This game requires no equipment. A "victim" is chosen and
leaves the room. The other players then choose an object connected with the horse, a breed
of pony, a well-known national or local figure in the horse world, etc. The victim is re
enters the room and questions each player in turn to discover his identity. The number of
questions allowed should be limited and a Question Master appointed to control the
proceedings. If ingenuity is used in selecting the person or object represented by the
victim, the game can be great fun.
The Pony Club publication "Quiz Questions for the Pony Club"
gives questions and answers suitable for quizzes. The quiz may be "Knock-out" in
which every one present is questioned. Anyone unable to answer, or answering incorrectly,
falls out of the game. Alternatively, the players can be divided into teams and points are
awarded for the answers.
A list of questions, requiring short answers, numbered up to, say
fifty, should be prepared beforehand. A large chart of a horse on a blackboard is also
required. For each question a numbered ticket is put into a hat. A few of the tickets have
no number but are marked "5 marks".
The players are divided into two teams and they line up facing each
other (sitting). A player from each team in turn draws a question. If the answer is right,
5 marks are scored for the team. If wrong, the question is thrown open to the whole side
and if the correct answer is then given, 3 marks are scored. The player drawing a "5
marks" ticket has no question to answer but scores 5 marks for the team.
Some numbers in the list have the word "chart" written
against them instead of questions. The judge then asks the player to point to a certain
part of the horse on the diagram.
POINT TO POINT OR SHOWJUMPING
The players choose appropriate names and are paired as horse and rider.
The competition is then conducted under the usual rules over miniature or human obstacles.
Players are required to mime the actions and paces of a given breed or
type of horse and are judged on performance.
No equipment is required. The players sit in a circle and arrange
amongst themselves where and how they are going away, i.e. to a show by road box, to a
camp. There are in-numerable variations. One player begins the games with the word "I
am going to
. And with me I will take
And names an article. The next player repeats this and adds another article, and so on.
Players are eliminated if they forget anything or give the list in the wrong order.
Objects connected with the horse, a cover, pencils and paper are
needed. The objects are arranged on a table or the floor and players look at them for a
fixed time. Then the objects are covered and players list them from memory. Later they may
also describe or demonstrate each article.
Pencils and paper are needed. Each player writes down an adjective,
"horsey", folds the paper and passes it to the left. The next player writes a
female name (person, pony or other animal), folds the paper and again passes it to the
left. Successive players add an adjective for a male, a male name, where they met and the
consequence of the meeting. After a final pass the resulting sentences are read. When the
uproar has subsided, each player explains the adjectives, consequences, etc. This can be
Sets of letters or, better still, chalks, scissors and card for players
to make their own letters, are required. One player chooses a word, which he must be able
to describe, i.e. bran-mash. The letters of the word are jumbled and the other players try
to identify it. When this has been done correctly the chooser explains the
word. The game is suitable for younger players.
Pencils and paper are needed. A letter of the alphabet and a time limit
are announced. Everyone thinks of as many things as possible connected with the horse
beginning with the given letter, and writes these down in the time limit. Some or all
articles may be described afterwards.
Pencils and paper are needed. The name of a person well-known in the
horse-world, locally or nationally, and a horse-term are announced. In a given time the
players must compose and rite a limerick introducing both. This game often reveals
No equipment is needed. All the players form two teams, or one small
team is chosen and changed frequently. One team leaves the room. The remaining team
players choose a word with several meanings, one of which is connected with the horse,
i.e. chestnut. The team returns, and is told that the chosen word is animal, vegetable,
mineral, abstract or a combination of these. They are allowed twenty questions to discover
The following game requires no equipment, but there must be enough
room. Loose carpets and ornaments should be removed out of harms way.
The players divide into two equal teams. The teams line up about six
feet apart. The players stand one behind the other, each with his hands on the hips of the
player in front of him. A number of horse-words equal to the number of players in a team
is chosen. The number ones are both "stirrups" the number twos both
"girths", and so on. Someone tells a story, mentioning the chosen words
frequently. As their word is spoken each pair turn inwards and race round their teams back
to their places. If the story teller has an agile mind, there is perpetual movement. This
is a good warming-up game.
Ruled paper and pencils are needed. The players are divided into groups
and to each group is given the puzzle and a pencil. The puzzle should have a Pony Club
TALE OF WOE
Paper and pencils are needed. The players are divided into groups. The
same incomplete story is given to each group. The groups are told to fill the gaps in the
story with as much nonsense as possible. The most nonsensical result wins. An example
There is an extraordinary girl in our Club named Gertrude Guzzler,
and she has a pony named Percy. Both were in camp this year. She was in my tent and
among the funny things she brought to camp in her bag were false teeth, false eyelashes
and a tooth-pick.
At early morning stables on the first morning she arrived in her
nylon nightie and nightcap. During grooming she was seen to drink her bucket of
water and groom Percy with a vacuum cleaner.
At morning inspection she lost us a lot of marks through her saddlery
being covered with syrup of figs and mosquitoes.
She sat next to me at lunch and amazed me by pouring the gravy into
her pocket and having her meal in tablet form.
On the last night in camp she put her pony to bed in her camp bed
and slept in the horse-lines in a headcollar.
She annoyed Major Davenport very much by entering for the Parish Cup
competition wearing a pair of jeans. When he asked her why, she replied: "These
arent Jeans, they are mine."
We entered for the pony pairs event at the gymkhana, but we were placed
last because Percy, who started the class as a grey, turned green with envy.
The players are divided into three group or pick three sides. Each
group is given the first installment of a story and ten minutes to write the second
installment. At the end of ten minutes the papers are exchanged and the groups write a
third installment. After another exchange a fourth installment is written. The important
point is to end each installment with a difficult situation, which the following group must
resolve and make another before handing the story on.
These notes have been compiled by the PCAV State Office, from
contributions by Mrs Keitha Raabe and Mrs Brenda Mitton.