What is Pony Club all about?
Pony Club’s goal is simple: A happy rider on a happy horse. To help achieve that goal, the Boise Pony Club offers lessons in a safe environment on horse management (how to care for you horse and equipment) as well as riding. However, almost as important as the lessons, we offer a chance to meet and build friendships with other kids that are as horse crazy as you.
What do you do in Pony Club?
We typically offer 8-10 unmounted lessons in January, February and March. These lessons are focused on the information provided in our in the USPC manuals (you will receive your first one when you join) and other sources, but match the standards for each rating level set by the USPC. (For more information on ratings and standards please go to the Ratings link found under the Members section.)
Our mounted program typically begin in May and continues through September, weather permitting. We ride at various local arenas on Monday evenings. We offer group lessons. The groups are divided by your rating level. We are constantly working at improving our teaching and communications through instructor clinics and outside clinicians input, with the focus on teaching the USPC standards and the basic balanced seat. These rides are group rides and cannot provide all the supervision and lessons that a pony clubber might need. They are designed to meet the social needs and help set direction for the pony clubber’s progress through the standards.
In February and March we offer a vaulting program (gymnastics on horseback). The club provides the lessons and vaulting horses for any member that is interested in participating. In March, the vaulting team performs at the Idaho Horse Expo and the Idaho Horse Park.
We also offer (for an additional cost) a local camp, a regional camp, cross-country lessons, clinics, ratings and rallies.
Do we have to our own pony? Does it have to be a pony?
Because we have the name Pony Club, people often wonder if only ponies are allowed. The name is British and implies that it is a youth organization. The horse size should be suitable to the rider’s size. Since Boise Pony Club membership goes through the 25th year, horses of all sizes are used.
You do no need to own your own horse, but you do have to have access to a horse to participate in mounted events and have a way to get that horse to the lessons. This is not the club’s responsibility. Member that are older sometimes have a mount for lease or sale, but this is not under the control or orchestration of the club itself and the club is not liable for any such arrangements.
What about safety?
USPC played an integral part in the development of the safety helmets worn in equestrian sports today and they are required equipment for all members. Performing a safety check before riding is a ‘best practice’ of clubs to ensure that tack is in good condition and properly adjusted. And finally, we teach our members how to safely handle their horse on the ground, trailering and riding.
What are Ratings?
Ratings are how the USPC standardizes the teachings of Pony Club. The club offers ratings so that members may meet those qualifications and continue to grow in the knowledge and horsemanship. (For more information on ratings and standards please go to the Ratings link found under the Members section.) There is no requirement to rate. Members are allowed to advance at their own pace.
What will I learn in Pony Club?
Pony Club puts an emphasis on personal responsility and well-roundedness. Our instruction program teaches stable management, including veterinary care, equine nutrition, trailer safety and tack care in addition to English-based riding sports, both in the arena and in the open.
Competition is an important part of our program. Members learn self-reliance and teamwork because they compete as part of a team – under adult supervision – without the assistance of parents.
USPC provides opportunities for members to learn self-analysis, public speaking and teaching. Peer teaching is a core skill of our rating examinations. Many shy members learn confidence in working with others and in public speaking through our program.
Where do parents fit in?
Pony Club is a parent run organization. Your first priority is to provide for your child, their means to participate and seeing that they have the necessary support. Next, the club itself cannot run without volunteers. Every job, from DC on down, is filled with parent volunteers. When a child joins the Boise Pony Club, their parent (or guardian) is required to sign a Parent Letter of Commitment. This Letter details what is expected of a parent as far as providing for the needs of their child and assisting the club in its operation and fundraising activities.
What is the cost?
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There is a $40 discount for siblings.
Other costs for participation fees will arise as you and your child decide additional activities. For example, Ratings, Rallies and Camps all have additional fees.
What is the background/history of Boise Pony Club?
The United States Pony Club was started in 1929 by a group of foxhunters and formed as a Junior Branch of the British Intistute of the Horse in England. It spread all over the world and the United States Pony Club (USPC) began in 1953-1954. BPC was chartered as a member club of USPC in 1984. It began through some dedicated people’s efforts that wanted to see an instruction program for the local youth jumpers. Some of the initial people involved were, Mia Edsall and Katy Young (bringing experience and understanding of Pony Club to the club) and soon getting Shirley Hendricks pulled in to take their places as DC in 1985. Mia and Katy were soon joined in as instructors with other local instructors helping, such as John Barringer, Cathy Peterson, Stephanie Maulin, and others.
Between 1985 and 1985 a logo was sought out to go with the selected colors of royal blue and white. Ann LaRose, an Eagle, Idaho sculptor, who was an avid English rider and horse lover, designed the current logo. She was generous in donating her service for the kids. Her philosophy was that the rider should be “youthful,” not too young nor too old, not boy, nor girl, yet confident. She did a great job!
In the beginning, BPC belonged the Rocky Mountain Region. It was very difficult to participate in regional activities happening so far away. Soon “Intermountain Region” came into existence with 5 clubs at the outset. The Intermountain Region, which covers Utah, Western Wyoming, Northern Nevada and Southern Idaho is now home to 13 clubs and riding centers.
Whenever possible at rallies or other events, BPC Pony Clubbers are encouraged to wear their colors through dress, use of special saddle pads, and displaying the BPC banner.
How do I join?
Click on the Join Boise Pony Club link for details.