Pony Club Victoria



Pony Club Association of Victoria Inc

Pony Club Association of Victoria Inc
Riders without Horses
Some Pointers

Activity Sheet 1

Activity Sheet 2

Activity Sheet 3

Activity Sheet 4

Activity Sheet 5

Activity Sheet 6

October 2000 Update

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"Tackers & Strappers"

Pony Club Association of Victoria ~A youth movement for all who share a love of riding and horses ~

Pony Club Association of Victoria ~Aims and objectives

Pony Club Considerations ~
Supplying a mount and gear
Some suggestions used by other Clubs
Parents ~
What Have I Done?
Parental involvement
Commitment to the Horse
Membership Requirements
Instruction ~
Creating Groups
Area to be used
Reference Material
Considerations For the Instructor ~
Points to remember when instructing the very young
Coping without a Regular Instructor
Dismounted Games …~ some ideas ~
Treasure Hunt
Photo Spotting
Lost Identity
Horsemanship Quiz
Quiz Game
Point to Point or Showjumping
Horse Show
Going Away
Horse Consequences
Jumbled Letters
Initial Letters
Twenty Questions
Story Game
Crossword Puzzle
Tale of Woe
Serial Story

Pony Club Association of Victoria ~

A youth movement for all who share a love of riding and horses

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 member’s 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 discipline".

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 experience.

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                                 Back to Top

To 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 ~

Membership                                        Back to Top

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 do!


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 one’s 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                                           Back to Top

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 their members.

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:~            Back to Top

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-owner’s 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.

Parents ~

What Have I Done?                               Back to Top

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.

Parental involvement

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 Club’s operation. Parental assistance will be required for the "Riders without Horses" group, kiosk, working bees, Rally setting up and packing away.

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 a horse.

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 organised.

Perhaps your Club has a Public Relations Officer you can approach.

Membership Requirements                             Back to Top

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 of Instruction.

Instruction ~

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 certificates.

Creating Groups                                         Back to Top

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                                     Back to Top

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 Club’s 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 rally.

Reference Material – available from PCAV              Back to Top

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.   Back to Top

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 listen.

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 member’s 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 isn’t 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 lose patience.

Coping without a Regular Instructor  Back to Top

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.

Dismounted Games …~ some ideas…~              Back to Top

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 achievement.


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.

PHOTO SPOTTING                                  Back to Top

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.

HORSEMANSHIP QUIZ                                Back to Top

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.


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.

GOING AWAY                                       Back to Top

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 ….. by ………. 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 most instructive.

JUMBLED LETTERS                                      Back to Top

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.

LIMERICKS                                           Back to Top

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 unsuspected talent.


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 it.

STORY GAME                                          Back to Top

The following game requires no equipment, but there must be enough room. Loose carpets and ornaments should be removed out of harm’s 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 back ground.

TALE OF WOE                                                                   Back to Top

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 follows:-

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 aren’t Jean’s, 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.

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