What is Pony Club?

Pony Club is one of the leading equestrian organizations in the world, represented throughout 30 countries! Pony Club now provides opportunities for instruction and competition in riding, horse sports and horse management for all ages. The term "pony" reflects the age of the members, rather than the size of the mount. Programs are offered in Dressage, Eventing, Show Jumping, Mounted Games, Tetrathlon, Knowledge, Hunt Seat Equitation, Western and Polocrosse. During "unmounted" meetings, members learn about feeding, shoeing, veterinary care, and other areas of horse management. Under adult supervision, the more experienced Pony Club members instruct and assist less experienced members. Many competitive riders at the national and international level are graduates of Pony Club. The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC) is divided into 41 regions. The Virginia Region (VRPC) has 9 local clubs and 3 riding centers. When a member joins a local pony club or riding center, they also join the region where that club or center belongs and USPC.

Where and when do you meet?

Mounted lessons are usually held during the spring and fall and ‘Ground Schools’ or unmounted meetings are usually held during the winter months. Clubs meet at locations central to their members.

What do you do at a meeting?

Most clubs offer group lessons with their members divided by skill level. Club ground school meetings are also usually divided by certification (skill) level. The Virginia Region offers clinics and ground schools for various levels too.

Do I have to own a horse?

No, but you need access to a horse or pony and trailer for lessons and competitions. Or, you can join one of the Riding Centers and use their horses.

What sort of competitions are there?

Clubs and Centers sends teams to regional “rallies,” or Pony Club competitions, throughout the year. Most rallies have teams of (usually) 4 riders and an unmounted stable manager. Winners of the regional rallies can go on to the national level. 

How much does it cost?

You must pay National, Regional, and local dues each year to be a Pony Club member. Regional and National dues are approximately $30 and $130 respectively. Club dues vary anywhere from $25 to $125. All clubs are non-profit organizations and most hold fundraisers to help offset their programs.

How much parent participation is needed?

Pony Club is a volunteer organization and many hands make light work! Ideally, parents (or supporters) should be present during meetings. All families are encouraged to work to make our clubs and region successful. And the rallies require many volunteers. There are even tasks for those who aren’t familiar with horses!

How do I find a club near me?

We are a far-flung Northern Virginia region with members from Arlington to Richmond and over into the edge of West Virginia.  Some of us have horses at home; others board at small barns. Look at our map to see where they meet and follow the links to some of the clubs' websites near you. If you have questions, email our Membership Coordinator or Regional Supervisor for more information. We are very lucky to have three Riding Centers in our region (Misty Brae, Serene Acres and Red Gate Farm). Riding Centers are commercial barns that offer pony club opportunities to their youth. If you don't have your own horse or pony and would like to try pony club without making that investment, one of the Riding Centers may be a good option for you.

Next Step: Find a club or center near you and contact the officer to enquire about membership today.

Questions: Contact Aldona Petraitis, Membership Coordinator, petrait@verizon.net.

Virginia Region Pony Clubs is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

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