Frequently Asked Questions

What happens at meetings?

Pony Club members participate in mounted meetings where the basics of riding skills are stressed and taught continually at all levels.  Blackhawk Pony Club strives 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 while younger members are offered lots of fun educational opportunities.

Additionally, there are unmounted meetings that are often structured around Horse Management instruction.  Some examples of lessons include: 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, understanding horse sports, among many others.

Horse people generally recognize USPC members by their responsible and complete approach to horse care.  The USPC Horse Management component sets USPC Youth Members apart from other horse/riding organizations.

What are the certifications?

Through participation in club and regional activities, members begin to work their way up through the certificates established by the Standards of Proficiency by the USPC.  At the certificate examinations (also known as a ratings test), members demonstrate their riding and horse management skills.

Do members compete in Pony Club?

Pony Club members participate in competitive rallies as a team.  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.

How do older members help younger members?

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 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 and progress in their learning, they in turn are expected to help newer and younger members.

As members reach the C certification level, 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, 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.

Can adults join Pony Club?

Blackhawk Pony Club has a Horsemaster’s group associated with the club.   Horsemaster’s was developed to meet the needs of Pony Club parents and other adults to learn more about horses and ponies and ultimately become more secure in their knowledge about horsemanship and riding skills. Horsemaster’s is open to anyone, who is not a current Participating Member, 18 years of age or older.

Blackhawk Pony Club is part of the Lakeshore Region of the United States Pony Club.  The Lakeshore Region has a website that includes Regional Event dates and details.  Visit the Lakeshore Region website here.