Pony Club Western Cape - Activities
Pony Club activities vary from branch to branch, but all branches follow the same format of rallies, achievement badges and efficiency testing.
Working rallies, either mounted or unmounted, are held once a month, with instruction in disciplines such as dressage, show jumping and mounted games, in the practical and theoretical aspects of horse and pony care and fun activities, games or outings.
Rallies are open to all members of the branch, visitors and guests from other branches. We encourage parents to get involved, join in the fun and learn along with the children.
A great deal of practical and theoretical learning takes place during rallies, on outings and at events. The Pony Club reinforces the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and the mastery of skills through our achievement badge and efficiency test programmes.
The achievement badge programme offers members a fun, structured way to learn in a safe, enjoyable environment. Members are awarded embroidered picture badges on various aspects of horsemanship, riding or life skills, which may be sewn onto their Pony Club golf shirts or jackets. There are two levels – mini-badges for younger and less experienced members and the standard badges, which require a greater depth of knowledge for older and more experienced children.
Achievement badges are an excellent way of assisting members who are in the process of preparing for their efficiency testing, as well as rewarding the efforts of those who are still expanding their knowledge and proficiency in various areas.
The Mini Badges are aimed at children not quite old enough to take the Achievement Badges, and are designed to instill the basic principles of the main achievement badges topics.
Pony Club in South Africa uses the same efficiency test system as the United Kingdom Pony Club. These tests are designed to assess riding ability and horse and pony care in a structured way.
The internationally standardised series of tests begin at the basic E test, and move up to the A test, which would equip a candidate to work in the equine industry.
The tests are designed to emphasise the hands-on ability to perform tasks, backed up by sound theoretical knowledge. Ideally tests are taken at two-year intervals in order to develop competency in both the riding and horse and pony care components. Testing is conducted in groups, and is both practical and oral.
During the course of the year, the region organises inter-branch activities, such as camps, advanced theory, improvement of ability clinics and outings. Once a year, a three-day Interbranch Competition is held for the Western Cape members in various disciplines, including dressage, equitation, show jumping and mounted games.
The emphasis is on participation rather than competition and team events are encouraged over and above individual competition. Members are encouraged to develop co-operative skills, and good sportsmanship is valued above individual skill.