The Pony Club Training structure encourages Members to take tests which enables them to learn progressively about horse and pony care and riding. The 'E' Test is optional, but all other tests must be taken in sequence. In Hong Kong especially, the importance of these tests cannot be understated.
The unique situation of Hong Kong, where children learn to ride, but generally not how to take care of our four legged friends, creates an imbalance in their knowledge and their experience. Riding is only a small part of the equation, and the rest is very often overlooked. The bond that children build with ponies is largely built not through riding, but through grooming, tacking up, and generally spending time with them in the stable, not to mention the responsibility that is learnt by having to look after them.
The HKPC is committed to redressing this balance as much as possible. The Efficiency Tests cover both riding and horse care and stable management, but the training Rallies are designed to cover just the Care and Management aspects, there is not riding involved. In order to take the Tests, members must first attend the appropriate Training Rally where they have the opportunity to practice the practical elements such as tacking up, grooming, bandaging etc, as well as learning the more theoretical aspects.
The following is a brief guide to the various tests you can do when you are a member of the Hong Kong Pony Club, these follow directly in line with the British Pony Club Testing System and are recognised worldwide.
The Tests are taken at mimimum ages, and are designed with certain objectives in mind.
This is the first stage of the Pony Club Tests and is designed for younger members who are new to either the Pony Club or riding in general.
The rally and test will cover only the stable management section, the ridden section will be assessed by your child's regular instructor. If they do not ride regularly we will arrange for an alternative solution. To pass the ridden section they need to have only the basic skills of mounting and dismounting, walking, turning and stopping the pony and a very short trot. All the ridden section can be done on or off the leadrein.
This is a test half way between ‘D’ and ‘C’. Members should understand the aids and be able to apply them. The objective is to be working towards developing a balanced seat independent of the reins. To understand elementary aids and be able to apply them.
The objectives of the C Test are to understand the importance of and be working towards a secure seat independent of the reins on the flat and over small jumps. To apply simple aids correctly. To have some knowledge of the care and working of a pony off grass. To understand the importance, care and use of basic tack and horse clothing. To have a rudimentary knowledge of first aid. To be in full control of the pony when riding in the open, and show courtesy to other riders when riding in group situations.
The objectives of the C+ Test are to become an educated and practical horseman. To ride over fences at all paces. To gain practical experience and knowledge of the care of a stabled pony and a pony at grass. To be capable of riding a well-mannered horse/pony ove cross-country fences and in all Pony Club activities. To ride intelligently and with due regard for others when riding in company (fo example at a competition). To have knowledge of pace and discipline when riding alone and in groups.
The standard of the B Test is very high, it is equivilant to the BHS (British Horse Society) Stage Three Exam. On passing the B Test members can apply for direct entry to the Stage Three Exam.
The test requires in depth knowledge of stable management and very competant riding as horses are exchanged for the flatwork. Members must be able to have practical expericence and knowledge of the care of a stabled and grasskept horse/pony. They should know how to look after these before, during and after general riding and competition riding, such as a One Day Event.
The Riding and Horse & Pony Care sections can be taken separately and in any order.
Minimum age 16 years. Badge felt colour: Brown (Care Section only) Red (Both Sections)
'B' TEST BRITISH HORSE SOCIETY EXEMPTION
Once a Pony Club member has gained their B Test (both sections) and are 17yrs old, they may apply for BHS Stage One and Two Exemption, allowing them to go straight to the BHS Stage Three Exam and/or the Preliminary Teaching Test (18yrs). For more details please refer to the PCUK website BHS Exemption Page
This test, or the BHS Stage 3, must be passed before attempting the AH Test.
Minimum age 17 years. Badge felt colour: Light Blue
The Pony Club AH Test is the Stable Management and Care section of the A Test and is the highest Test of horsemanship available in the Pony Club and is the equivalent of the BHS Stage 4 Care exam. It covers practical horse management, lunging, breeding, first aid, anatomy etc. You must have an in depth knowledge of all of these areas and more to be successful in this test.
Mimimum age 18 years. Badge felt colour: Orange
This is highest Test of riding in the Pony Club and requires a high standard of riding and riding theory. It is recognised world wide and is very much sought after!